You’re going to have to be pretty passionate about hydrogen fuel cell technology in order to justify purchasing Toyota’s (NYSE:TM) new FCV when it lands in the United States next year, as it’s slated to cost in the neighborhood of $70,000 off the showroom floor — though it’s worth mentioning that this figure is based on the 7 million yen price tag (about $68,000) that it was awarded in Japan. Toyota notes that it hasn’t set European or North American pricing yet.
Like in the U.S., initial sales will be confined to areas that already support a hydrogen refueling infrastructure or are having one built. Overall, Toyota is remaining pretty mum about the details of its groundbreaking new car, but we now know that it will provide a similar experience as the conventional gasoline sedans it currently produces and will boast a driving range of about 435 miles.
The production model looks virtually identical to the concept that was revealed last year, and unlike plug-in battery-electric vehicles, it can be refueled in about three minutes. Hydrogen power has its fair share of critics, but Toyota is confident that once greater adoption can be recognized, it will be the way forward.
“Hydrogen is a particularly promising alternative fuel since it can be produced using a wide variety of primary energy sources, including solar and wind power,” Toyota said in its statement. “When compressed, it has a higher energy density than batteries and is easier to store and transport. In addition to its potential as a fuel for home and automotive use, hydrogen could be used in a wide range of applications, including large-scale power generation.”