The importance of breaking away from fossil-fuel has never been understated by Toyota. The big name car manufacturer has long held that alternative energy is the way of the future. They have thrown significant support behind the research and development of hydrogen fuel cells, lauding the technology as a viable successor to oil. With the completion of their first hydrogen refueling station in Torrance, California, Toyota has made a bold stride toward the establishment of a hydrogen fuel infrastructure.
Hydrogen infrastructure, commonly referred to as a hydrogen highway, is one of the few remaining obstacles keeping fuel cells out of consumer’s possession. Researchers have toiled for years to lower the cost of fuel cells, only recently producing viable solutions to the problem. As they become less expensive, fuel cells are seeing more commercial acceptance. In the transportation industry, however, there can be no future for hydrogen powered vehicles without a way to refuel them.
“Building an extensive hydrogen-refuiling infrastructure is the critical next step in bringing these products to the market,” says Chris Hostetter, vice president of strategic resources for Toyota Motor Sales in the U.S.
Toyota, as well as several other prestigious car manufacturers, believes that 2015 is the time when hydrogen fuel will really take off. Many companies are planning to release fuel cell vehicles to the commercial market at that time. As the market becomes saturated with these vehicles, the price of fuel cells is expected to plummet. Several refueling stations are also scheduled to be completed by that time, promising to make the concept of a hydrogen highway a reality.