The Japanese automaker, also the biggest in the world, envisions its clean future to be based on fuel cell cars. The first of its kind for the brand will be offered for sale starting at a $69,000 sticker price.
Today, the automotive industry is at a crossroad – there is now way the carmakers can avoid making electric cars. But there are choices to be made here as well. The well known procedure until now involved the electric motor being powered by a battery stack – taking the necessary power from the electric grid. Now, automakers are also paving the way for an alternative – the hydrogen powered electric car. It’s main advantage – it can be fully refilled in minutes as opposed to hours for battery cars. The main disadvantages, the cost of the technology and the lack of filling infrastructure.
Still, the maker of the world’s best selling hybrid, Toyota, is moving on with the technology – alongside others, like Hyundai, which already has a fuel cell model on the road in South Korea, Europe and recently, the US.
The first of its kind fuel cell vehicle – which has already been presented in concept form since Tokyo motor show last year – will go on sale in Japan before April 2015, followed months later by the US and Europe. For its home country the asking price is rather steep – considering the car is about the size of a Camry – costing Japanese consumers around 7 million yen ($68,690).
Analysts and industry observers say the sticker price is not the most important, as buyers would ultimately be interested in the price after government subsides and the availability of refill stations.