Hydrogen Car on the Horizon for Toyota »

Hydrogen Car on the Horizon for Toyota

Toyota’s first hydrogen-powered car is still a year away from production, but experts already predict it will be a hit.

With the global energy crisis pushing innovation, fuel cell electric vehicles will be in our future sooner than many thought, and in much larger numbers than people expect.

Toyota’s hydrogen car, called FCV for now, uses hydrogen as fuel for a battery. The engine emits only water vapor as exhaust. Toyota anticipates the car will be for sale in the U.S. as early as in 2015. Rival such as Hyundai and Honda have also announced plans to sell similar vehicles in the same year.

Thus far,Toyota plans to focus on selling cars in California at first. The vehicles will be priced from $50,000 to $100,000, aiming for the lower end of the price range. The car will have a range of 300 miles, accelerate from zero to 60 MPH in 10 seconds, and its tank can be refueled in three to five minutes.

As far as refueling goes, the first 10,000 vehicles will be supported with only 68 refueling stations located between San Francisco and San Diego. The state of California has allotted $200 million to build about 20 fueling stations by 2015, 40 by 2016 and 100 by 2024. Experts believe that all the cars in California could be served by using 15 percent of the 10,000 gas stations currently in the state, provided they are spaced correctly.

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