Electric vehicles may be the talk of the town right now, but Toyota is betting on another kind of vehicle to move us into the next 100 years: fuel cells. The Japanese automaker revealed the final design for its FCV (Fuel Cell Vehicle) as well as pricing and release.
The four-dour sedan will be available for 7 million yen (roughly $69,000 in U.S. dollars). It won't be available everywhere, though. It'll be limited to regions in Japan "where hydrogen refueling infrastructure is being developed". Those regions include the Saitama Prefecture, Chiba Prefecture, Tokyo Metropolis, Kanagawa Prefecture, Yamanashi Prefecture, Aichi Prefecture, Osaka Prefecture, Hyogo Prefecture, Yamaguchi Prefecture, and Fukuoka Prefecture.
While Elon Musk thinks fuel cell cars — vehicles that use hydrogen instead of gasoline — are "bullsh*t", Toyota is more optimistic. Toyota says the use of hydrogen tanks allows energy to be compressed so that it has a "higher energy density than batteries." Hydrogen tanks are also easier to store.
Although final car specs haven't been revealed yet, Toyota says you won't have to worry about range taking a big hit. Its FCV will be capable of cruising with the average gasoline-powered car which has an average 430 mile range.
There's no doubt that EVs and FCVs are great for the environment. The tricky part is getting people to buy them. $69,000 isn't exactly cheap. The same goes for Tesla's Model S EV, which starts at $60,000. Would Toyota ever consider pulling an Elon Musk and open-sourcing its FCV innovations so that the entire industry can make harder pushes? Anything is possible, right?