Hydrogen Cars – Toyota Gets In On The Game

Hydrogen cars are slowly moving into the mainstream. They are experiencing much of the same initial resistance that EV’s experienced when they were first introduced, but with big name automakers like Toyota and Honda actually bringing cars to market, the hope is that this will speed the process of making Hydrogen powered vehicles mainstream.

 

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Toyota’s FCV (Fuel Cell Vehicle) is slated to go on sale in 2015. It’s a good looking vehicle, very sleek and modern, and it handles well according to all the early reviews. Smooth ride, with all the creature comforts you’d expect in any part of Toyota’s lineup. It gets great mileage between fill ups as well, but that’s the rub. There are only two states in the US with Hydrogen refueling stations right now. California and South Carolina. It’s all well and good that Hydrogen is beginning to make its way into the mainstream market, but until and unless a significant investment in supporting infrastructure is made, it’s going to be a niche market, at best. Industry experts are anticipating that Hydrogen vehicles will be stuck at around two tenths of one percent of the total market for the foreseeable future.

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The real pity is that it’s not that expensive to build the needed infrastructure. Hydrogen refueling stations would cost between one and two million dollars apiece, and you’d need perhaps two hundred of them, scattered around the nation to service a robust and growing fleet of FCV’s. That puts the total price tag at between $100 to $200 million dollars, which is pocket change for a company like Toyota.

Some big name players have spent a significant amount of time and money getting production model FCV’s ready for sale. Why they have not devoted the same amount of time and energy into building the infrastructure that will make it possible to actually own one remains something of a mystery. Nonetheless, the fact that a company like Toyota is finally making a serious play in this market should be taken as categorically good news to all fans of the technology. There are still miles to go, but it’s a big step closer to being reality now.

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