Report – Toyota aims big cuts in fuel cell costs image

According to a senior official, while Toyota’s first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle is expected to enter into production in early 2015, the company also aims to cut down the cost of production in half – to about $51,000 – and then half it again by 2020.

That cost decrease would allow Toyota to offer the vehicle to customers for between $50,000 and $100,000, according to Satoshi Ogiso, managing officer of Toyota, who oversees alternative vehicles, power trains and chassis development.

Back in 2007, when Toyota produced around 100 units of the Highlander fuel cell demonstration vehicle, the fuel cell system within them was priced at nearly $1 million a piece. By 2020, the cost of a fuel cell vehicle “will be closer to that of a plug-in hybrid vehicle and cheaper than an electric vehicle,” Ogiso announced during a press briefing where journalists had the chance to drive a dummy car fitted with the fuel cell powerplant.

“The first generation should be something unique for early adopters,” he said about the upcoming fuel cell sedan slated for unveiling at the Tokyo Motor Show in November.

The model is projected internally to achieve in the first few years  total global sales of between 5,000 and 10,000 units. Then, further volume boost could cater for a further reduction of the cost of the fuel cell pack, bringing it down to just 5% of what it was less than a decade ago, Ogiso also said.

Via Automotive News