Toyota has unveiled a new fuel-cell car which promises a long range and short refueling times, to be released in 2015.
Toyota has announced that they will be unveiling their new fuel-cell car at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show. The cars are expected to enter the market in two years. Toyota has stated that the new fuel cells have improved upon both range and refueling speed. The new cars are expected to have a 500 km range, and can be refueled through onboard hydrogen canisters in just three minutes.
Fuel cell cars are an excellent green solution; they run on renewable hydrogen and they emit nothing but water vapor. However, a few factors hinder their success from a practical standpoint. Long refueling times and short range are some factors that Toyota seems to have actually solved. However, there still remains the issue of finding somewhere to refuel your car. Toyota says that by the time the cars hit the market, there will be hundreds of refueling stations in Europe, America and Japan. While Toyota surely said this to alleviate concerns, one has to consider that “hundreds” isn’t a very large number in this case: Taking the US as an example, even five hundred stations would just mean ten per state; far from one on every street corner, or even one per town. In comparison, according to the US census bureau, there are over 121,000 gas stations in the United States.
Basic function of a hydrogen fuel cell
Toyota is cooperating with BMW on the technology, but they aren’t the only ones. Honda already has a fuel-cell car on the market, the FCX Clairty, though it has only been sold on a small scale; they are also working with General Motors on future projects. Similarly, Nissan is cooperating with Ford and Daimler on fuel-cell technology as well.