DETROIT -- Toyota is poised to have hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for the public by 2015, says Takeshi Uchiyamada, executive vice president of product planning and advanced technology at Toyota Motor Corp.
“We think we can have small volumes of affordable fuel cell vehicles in certain markets that have the fuel stations,” he said here during an interview Tuesday at the Detroit auto show.
Uchiyamada said that with fuel stations in place, fuel cell vehicles will be less expensive than electric vehicles because the batteries in fuel cells provide a greater range.
Uchiyamada did not say what type of fuel cell vehicles Toyota likely would bring to market, but the company already has a fleet of Highlander fuel cell vehicles being tested in the United States. The crossover has a range of about 400 miles (about 644km), said Toyota spokesman John Hanson.
Hanson said Toyota is talking with a number of large cities globally about building the infrastructure for fuel cell vehicles. He said any fuel cell that Toyota brings to market must be affordable and get great range. The company also is studying what types of volumes it needs to sell, Hanson said.
“Between the governments, energy companies and us, we can begin a real push for infrastructure,” he said. “We're saying if you want to be a mixed-mobility mecca, you've got to have the infrastructure.”