Back in the day – 1997 just seems now such a long ago – Toyota managed to surprise us all by introducing their first hybrid – the Prius. Now, the Japanese want the same to happen with their 2015 fuel cell car launch.
The, back then, revolutionary Prius was the first commercially successful gasoline-electric hybrid and Toyota wants to achieve the same feat with their fuel cell – dubbed for now the 2015 FC car – when it launches in Japan, the US and Europe.
“With the 2015 FC car we think we’ve achieved a degree of dominance over our rivals,” Satoshi Ogiso, a Toyota managing director, said in a recent interview at the group’s global headquarters. “With the car, we make a first giant step” toward getting fuel-cell vehicles into everyday use.
The company has been struggling for the past 20 years to lower to acceptable levels the manufacturing costs of the technology and also catch up rival automaker Honda – which already limitedly sells its FCX Clarity hydrogen model.
Also, the competition is not standing still, with Hyundai – which decided to let Kia develop electric vehicles – focusing as well on fuel cell technology and ready to bring the European and Korean available ix35 fuel cell to the States.