Toyota unveils ambitious plans for hydrogen fuel vehiclesMay 7, 2013
Hydrogen fuel continues to gain traction in auto industry
Much of the auto industry has become enthralled by hydrogen fuel cells. Large automakers like Honda, General Motors, Daimler, and Toyota have plans to launch their own hydrogen-powered vehicles by 2017, if not sooner. Hyundai is the most significant exception to this expectation, having already begun mass production on its hydrogen-powered vehicle. Though Hyundai has managed to break the mold, much of the auto industry remains fixed on the 2017 date, but that may be changing as fuel cell technology begins to shift.
Toyota expects fuel cells to replace batteries
In mid-April, Toyota vice chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada declared high hopes for hydrogen fuel and transportation. Uchiyamada noted that fuel cell vehicles do not emit harmful gases and are not tied to range or fueling restriction in the same way other types of electric vehicles are. As such, Toyota expects that hydrogen fuel cells will eventually replace batteries, which is a bold claim coming from a company that had helped spark a new generation of electric vehicles based on batteries.
Partnership yields new technology
Earlier this year, Toyota entered into an agreement with BMW in order to conduct extensive research on hydrogen fuel cell technology. Through this partnership, the two companies are meant to produce a new kind of hydrogen fuel cell, which will be used in vehicles coming from both Toyota and BMW. The partnership came about from the growing uncertainty facing hydrogen transportation and the need to develop more marketable and cost-effective fuel cells. Toyota believes that this joint endeavor has yielded promising results.
Toyota to sell hydrogen-powered vehicles by 2015
Toyota has announced plans to begin selling hydrogen-powered vehicles to the general public in 2015. These vehicles will incorporate the technology that both Toyota and BMW have created. Toyota believes that the time for hydrogen transportation has arrived and is eager to break into a market that appears ready to embrace hydrogen fuel. The automaker is not alone, of course. Apart from Hyundai, which has already begun pushing its own hydrogen-powered vehicles, Honda has plans to also launch its new hydrogen-powered vehicles in 2015.