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Toyota’s hydrogen fuel-cell future

Toyota FCV-R concept

We’ve been reporting on all manner of fuel efficient, fuel saving and fuel alternative vehicles on this blog, but we haven’t yet talked about hydrogen fuel cells, and how they might be rather valid fuel alternative for the future.

We may have to talk about the technology behind a hydrogen fuel cell on a later date since today we’ll be talking about Toyota’s involvement with the technology and their plan to launch a hydrogen fuel cell passenger car by 2015.

This rather bold step seems to be in line with Toyota’s recent return to motorsports in the recent 24 Le Mans endurance race where they showed up with a pair of hybrid race cars. In fact, the vice chairman of the Toyota Motor Company, Takeshi Uchiyamada has confirmed that the following decade will be seeing fuel cell cars in mass production at Toyota’s factories, in line with regular cars.

The hydrogen fuel cell vehicle approach is part of the company’s three-pillar strategy when it comes to alternative fuels, alongside battery-powered electric vehicles and hybrids. Fuel cell vehicles allow for a considerably longer range than electric vehicles and only produce water as their by-product. Actually the company will also supervise the production of fuel cell buses and plans on pushing for hydrogen-powered forklift trucks.

Toyota’s showcase for their hydrogen fuel-cell technology is the Toyota FCV-R concept, a mid-sized family sedan which can reach about seven hundred kilometers with a fuel load of fuel.

However the problem that all fuel cell vehicle manufacturers have to deal with is that of infrastructure and this is true to electric vehicles as well, but more-so with hydrogen fuel, however there are good signs coming from the US and parts of the European Union where supporting infrastructure for hydrogen delivery is starting to appear.

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