Following announcements from Hyundai and Honda on their latest fuel-cell vehicles at the L.A. Auto Show in November, Toyota showed off its version of this future technology at CES 2014 in Las Vegas. (See our complete CES coverage.)
A midsized four-door sedan, the FCV concept, is touted as the "Car of the Future" by being an electric car that produces its electricity on board. Creating a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen to make electricity, it’s only tailpipe emission is water vapor. Toyota claims a 300-mile range, 0-60 mph acceleration in 10 seconds, and a top speed of 100 mph. Toyota also says that this car will be as quiet as a Lexus hybrid. Filling up will take three to five minutes.
Toyota says it will deliver this car to market at a "reasonable" price because there is much demand for the technology. Toyota estimates a 95 percent reduction in cost in the powertrain and hydrogen tanks over the cost of its original concept in 2002.
Sales are to start in California in 2015. Toyota is currently working with the University of California at Irvine to map out future hydrogen fueling stations, looking at population, traffic, and infrastructure. If implemented, the system could handle 10,000 fuel-cell vehicles. California has already approved financing for expansion of hydrogen stations and could have as many as 100 by 2024.
One added benefit of this technology is that when fully fueled, it is capable of powering a house for a week in the event of an emergency.
The official name of the vehicle, along with more details, will be announced in the coming months.
Learn more about fuel cells in our guide to alternative fuels.