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Fuel Cell Vehicles Arrive Next Year

Toyota will launch a fuel cell-powered sedan in the U.S. in 2014. The automaker has been showing off the Toyota FCV at auto shows, and says that unlike other fuel cell vehicles, this one will be available for the mass market at an affordable price.

The company expects the FCV to get 300 miles per tank of compressed hydrogen.

Despite concerns about the safety of the technology, its viability, and the lack of refueling infrastructure, Toyota has invested heavily in fuel cells, and thinks that their vehicles will be competitive with electric vehicle alternatives.

One Toyota executive even trash talked Tesla, Nissan and Volkswagen in a speech he gave in conjunction with the Detroit auto show. (To be fair, Tesla founder Elon Musk had even less flattering things to say about fuel cells.)

However, according to research firm IDTechEx, there are still significant cost and performance obstacles. The cost of one hydrogen charging station equals that of six electric fast charging stations, and producing hydrogen is an expensive and inefficient process.

Honda and Hyundai also plan to roll out fuel cell vehicles here. Hyundai’s fuel cell Tucson crossover will be the first mass-market, certified vehicle available in the U.S.

Source: USA Today

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Brian Albright

Brian Albright is the editorial director of Digital Engineering. Contact him at [email protected].

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