According to Toyota Motor Corp.’s lead fuel cell engineer, the automaker’s main concern when it comes to the green technology is finding ways to trim down the cost of the next generation hydrogen-fueled powertrain.
The world’s largest carmaker, also the leading authority when it comes to hybrid vehicles, has decided that automotive electrification should be done via fuel cell powered cars. They compete with the already established battery powered electric cars – they offer a better range and a faster refuel process, but cost much more upfront and just like the first lack a properly developed refueling infrastructure. Toyota’s main preoccupation now when it comes to fuel cell development is to lower the expenses for the fuel cell system by one-third to one-fourth of the current one – employed in the Mirai fuel cell sedan.
While this seems like an overly ambitious goal, we can compare it to the previous-generation fuel cell vehicle, which was showcased back in 2008. The Mirai is only at around one-twentieth the cost of the latter system – so gaining another one-third to one-fourth shouldn’t be a major problem. Yasuhiro Nonobe, general manager for fuel cell vehicle system design, thinks that pace is unsustainable and aims for a goal of getting the next-generation system to cost as little as a quarter.It’s also scheduled for a fast introduction – in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Via Automotive News Europe