It has come the time for Toyota to officially reveal in Europe, during the 2014 Paris Motor Show, the production version of its first fuel cell model – with an uninspiring name: FCV (fuel cell vehicle).
The world’s largest automaker has decided to go against the current and instead on concentrating on battery electric vehicles it will focus on delivering fuel cell electrics. The first model – that should set the trend just like the first Prius did back in the day – is the FCV. Sporting a rather hideous design – albeit highly unconventional – the model has been previewed at numerous shows and the production version looks almost exactly the same as the concept.
The model should be up for grabs in Japan since April 2015 and its availability in North America and Europe has been announced for that summer. So far, for the Japanese market the name of the model has been revealed to be Mirai – but there’s no word yet if it would carry over in Europe – and in Paris it was still badged as the FCV.
Technical specifications are still scarce, although Toyota did brag about developing the fuel cell models in-house for more than 20 years. The FCV relies on the proprietary FC Stack, generating electricity from the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, the first being housed in high-pressure hydrogen tanks. The performance figures revealed so far are nothing to talk about, but they do look decent for an electric car: 0-100 km/h in around 10 seconds and a range of 300 miles (482 km). The fuel cell’s main advantage over battery electric cars is that once the fuel runs out, a full tank will be ready in just three minutes.