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Toyota Car of the Future, the Fuel Cell Vehicle, Debuts at 2014 CES

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Toyota FCV Concept

Toyota Fuel Cell Vehicle coming in 2015

This year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas got off to a roaring start on Monday when the “Toyota Car of the Future,” the much-anticipated Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV) concept, made its North American debut.

Senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A. Inc. Bob Carter began the proceedings with some fitting words: “We aren’t trying to re-invent the wheel; just everything necessary to make them turn. Fuel cell electric vehicles will be in our future sooner than many people believe, and in much greater numbers than anyone expected.”

There were two vehicles upon the CES stage during Toyota’s presser on Monday: the opulent FCV concept, whose future-thinking design fittingly wears an electrifying and aquatic Radiant Blue paint scheme ; and the test “mule” that was driven during intensive on-road testing over the course of the last year beneath a black camouflage-taped exterior.

According to Toyota’s press release, the prototype held up to testing to consistently achieve a 300 mile driving range and a zero to 60 speed of 10 seconds without so much as a drop of CO2 emissions.  It is also said that it will take a mere three to five minutes to fully refuel the Toyota Car of the Future.

“Hydrogen works beautifully with oxygen to create water and electricity and nothing more,” said Carter. “For years, the use of hydrogen gas to power an electric vehicle has been seen by many smart people as a foolish quest. Yes, there are significant challenges. The first is building the vehicle at a reasonable price for many people. The second is doing what we can to help kick-start the construction of convenient hydrogen refueling infrastructure. We’re doing a good job with both and we will launch in 2015.”

Contrary to the common concerns of analysts, Toyota estimates that it will be able to cut 95 percent of cost necessary to manufacture the fuel cell vehicles’ powertrain and fuel tanks by that 2015 launch date.  California, the state in which Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell vehicle will launch, is already on board in supporting hydrogen electric infrastructure, having pledged over $200 million in funding to around 20 hydrogen fueling stations by 2015 and a total of 40 by 2016.

This all coincides with a joint effort between Toyota and the University of California Irvine’s Advanced Power and Energy Program (APEP). That same APEP model is currently being applied by the California Energy Commission, the Governor’s Zero Emission Vehicle Initiative, California Air Resources Board, U.S. Department of Energy, and California Fuel Cell Partnership.

Stop back at The News Wheel for more details on the Toyota Car of the Future, the FCV, as they become available.