Toyota is a strong believer that hydrogen-powered cars represent the future for a cleaner and greener industry, urging the automakers to focus more on this direction.
Toyota has made huge efforts over time to promote environmentally friendly technologies, starting almost 20 years back with the Prius trend-setter. But the biggest automaker in the world has also taken a much cleaner path than hybrids, as it also focused on the development of hydrogen-powered vehicles, recently introducing Mirai, the world’s first mainstream fuel-cell car.
But electric cars have become more attractive in recent years as technology moves forward, leaving behind the industry’s previous interest in hydrogen. In a recent speech, Toyota Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada said that the auto industry should work together to further develop hydrogen cars as they bring greater benefits to the environment.
“Toyota firmly believes the benefits of a hydrogen society are enormous for a healthy global environment,” Uchiyamada said, quoted by the Detroit Free Press. “That is why we are playing a leading role in bringing together automakers, energy companies, government agencies and others to help build the required refueling infrastructure.”
A year ago, Toyota made the first step into inviting others to join this common goal when it decided not to enforce more than 5,600 patents on the internally developed hydrogen fuel-cell technology through 2020, allowing its competitors to benefit from the company’s research.
However, there is also the problem related with the infrastructure needed for such cars, and Uchiyamada said that a lot of work had to be done in this area. “The big problem is … not enough hydrogen refueling stations,” Uchiyamada said. “If we want fuel cell vehicles to become popular, we have to build infrastructure from the ground up. And that is no easy task.”