Ahead of the Tokyo Auto Show, Toyota has revealed a few tantalizing images of their Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV) concept slated to hit the market in 2015. Toyota hopes it will make a marketplace splash similar to the impact of the Prius. The difference between past iterations of the FCV and this one is that to meet a 2015 (it's only two years away!) release, Toyota will have to stop messing about with the car's design very soon.
The Toyota FCV and other vehicles like it have recently caught flack from Elon Musk for being not only impractical, but prohibitively expensive. Musk has a point when it comes to the FCV's price, which is supposedly going to be somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000. As far as practicality, the FCV might have more to offer than Mr. Musk has been willing to admit.
The FCV will have a 300 mile range, which is nearly as large a range as even the newest electric vehicle batteries can boast. It will also run on hydrogen and produce water. Refueling times are reported to be as short as three minutes. As for how widely useful the FCV is, we'll have to see if an as-yet unrealized network of hydrogen fueling stations springs up before 2015.
As a concept car, the FCV seems to be checking all the right boxes. But, as is the case for any new technology, it's the job of the innovator to prove that their creation is better than what has already exists. And with people like Elon Musk championing electric cars, Toyota could very well have an uphill battle on its hands.