Toyota chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada reiterated a vow to offer a fuel cell electric vehicle by 2015. Speaking to reporters following an engagement at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C, Uchiyamada said that the 2015 deadline is a promise that must be kept. He said that it is their role to keep the promise of introducing the fuel cell electric vehicle to the market in the time that they promised, so as not to “waste the investments that the infrastructure companies will make.”
Fuel cell electric vehicles are similar to battery electric vehicles, except for the fact that they produce power from hydrogen with a chemical reaction. Meanwhile, battery EVs store electricity in a battery. Fuel cell EVs also have no emissions, except for water. According to a database by the United States Department of Energy, there are only 10 existing 10 public hydrogen fueling stations in the country.
Fuel companies are planning to set up dozens more stations between now and 2015, when Toyota and other carmakers like Hyundai and Honda intend to launch fuel cell EVs. Carmaker eyes fuel cell EVs to be less expensive and more durable than the two fuel cell EVs now available in the US – the Honda FCX Clarity and the Mercedes-Benz F-Cell.
Uchiyama – who is called the “father of Prius” -- recently oversaw the development of Toyota's first fuel cell electric vehicle that will be derived from the FCV-R concept shown at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2011. Toyota executives have said that the fuel cell sedan will be rolled out in the US in 2015 with a sticker price of around $50,000.