The senior vice president of Toyota Motor Sales USA, Bob Carter, is confident that fuel-cell powered vehicles will appeal to consumers quicker than expected. During a press conference at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Carter said he expects strong demand for fuel-cell vehicles in California.
"Hydrogen-powered vehicles will be in our future much faster than many people believe, and in much greater numbers," he said during the conference.
Toyota will start selling the FCV concept it unveiled at the Tokyo auto show in October 2013 in early 2015. Soichiro Okudaira, chief of Toyota's r&d group, told Automotive News Europe in December 2013 that the company aims to sell 5,000 to 10,000 FCVs globally. However, Toyota has yet to disclose sales goals for individual regions.
Toyota Motor Sales USA has already asked headquarters to increase their initial allotment as the carmaker’s engineers have been able to trim the cost of the FCV sedan.
Carter remarked that California has already allotted $200 million to build 100 hydrogen fuel stations – of which ten already exist while 20 are being planned in 2015 and another 20 stations in 2016. According to Carter, a recent study showed that 68 stations placed in key locations in Silicon Valley, San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California could support around 10,000 fuel-cell powered vehicles.