Will Hydrogen Fuel Cell (HFC) Vehicles Change the World? Toyota Says YES

Hydrogen fuel cell cars don’t get the same newsworthy buzz as EVs, simply because the technology seems too far away for any present-day excitement. However, that may be changing. There are at least three HFC concepts in fairly advanced stages of development, as demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year:

  • Honda FCX
  • Hyundai Tucson FCV
  • Toyota FVC

The one we know the most about is the Toyota.  Not only is an attractive piece of machinery–a rarity among alternative fuel vehicles, notwithstanding Teslas–but it will reportedly have a range of 310 miles, with a refueling time of just minutes.  Toyota senior VP Bob Carter has been sounding off on the promise this car holds, saying:

[The FVC] is really going to change our world, sooner rather than later.

Those are serious words from such a high-ranking member of Toyota management.  For this technology to really change the world, however, the price will need to be within reach of mainstream consumers.  This has proved a real challenge for other carmakers, but Toyota is now estimating that the FVC could be priced in the $30K range by the year 2020. If that is indeed the case, and a greater infrastructure of hydrogen refueling stations is creating (an enormous task in and of itself), it’s possible that, a decade from now, hydrogen cars could represent a significant percentage of the vehicles on US roads.