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Toyota Fuel-Cell Vehicle Debuts at Annual Consumer Electronics Show

By: Jeff Youngs, 1/8/2014
With more than 5 million hybrid vehicles sold, resulting in an estimated reduction of 34 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions into Earth's atmosphere, according to the automaker, Toyota is proud of its efforts to reduce pollution and increase fuel economy through the use of gasoline-electric powertrains. However, in addition to several other automakers, Toyota is exploring hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles as a next-generation alternative to hybrids and electric cars, and at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the company unveiled its new Toyota Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV).

"Fuel cell electric vehicles will be in our future sooner than many people believe, and in much greater numbers than anyone expected,"said Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A. Inc.

Like other fuel-cell vehicles, the Toyota FCV converts hydrogen fuel into electricity, emitting nothing but water vapor as a result of the process. The result is a 4-door sedan with the following projections:
  • Power output of more than 100 kW
  • Driving range of approximately 300 miles
  • Acceleration to 60 mph in about 10 seconds
  • Refueling in less than 5 minutes

Toyota's Fuel Cell Vehicle, or FCV, will launch in 2015 and be available to consumers, joining the Honda FCX Clarity, Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell, and any other yet-to-be-announced fuel-cell vehicles that might be in their final stages of development. In terms of price, Toyota will only say that the 2015 Toyota FCV will cost 95% less than the company's first fuel-cell prototypes built more than a decade ago.

Toyota will launch the FCV in California and is working with the University of California Irvine's Advanced Power and Energy Program to identify sites for new hydrogen stations. The result, based on population density, existing hybrid and electric car ownership, traffic patterns, and other factors, proposes 68 station sites near San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego that could support up to 10,000 fuel-cell vehicles and would be located no more than a 6-minute drive away for most fuel-cell vehicle owners. The state of California has already approved funding to build 40 new hydrogen filling stations by the end of 2016.

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