The wait is over: Toyota releasing first hydrogen production vehicle in December

After years of research, development, debate, and anticipation, Toyota is finally planning to release its first hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicle this year.

According to the Japan Times, Toyota’s first production variant will be produced in Japan this December, and will be sold for around ¥8 million, or $78,000. This may sound expensive, and it is, but remember: newer technologies are usually costly at first. Toyota’s goal is to cut that price in half by “the 2020s.” 

The main problem with hydrogen cars, as it always is with new technologies, is fitting in with the current gasoline-based infrastructure. You won’t see too many hydrogen fueling stations on street corners in 2014, but Toyota has a plan to change that.

In Fall 2015, Toyota plans to implement a large network of hydrogen refueling stations across California. This is possible due to a $7-million loan with FirstElement Fuel Inc, which is lead by GM marketing chief Joel Ewanick.

Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota’s North American Region, hopes to have 50 refueling stations operating across California by the end of 2016, which may lead to the eventual US debut of Toyota’s hydrogen-powered production vehicle.

Despite hydrogen’s challenges, it’s easy to see why Toyota, Honda, and GM are continuing to embrace hydrogen over electric vehicles and gas-electric hybrids: hydrogen fuel cells are safe, reliable (they have very few moving parts), efficient, and produce no pollution (their only byproduct is water.) 

 

Toyota has previously confirmed that its fuel cell vehicle will have a range of approximately 300 miles and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in around 10 seconds.

While that may not sound great for automotive performance enthusiasts, there are many who believe that hydrogen and gasoline-powered vehicles can actually coexist. Jay Leno, who knows a thing or two about the automobile, believes the two technologies can exist harmoniously.

“[Hydrogen] will save the petrol, it will save your MG, or your Sprite, or your Midget,” he said in a Top Gear segment. “You go out on the weekend, you have fun, then you put [your hydrogen car] in the car park during the week.” 

For those who say that high-horsepower supercars are a dying breed, or that environmentalists with silent, polar bear-friendly grocery-getters are killing automotive passion, Leno has a more optimistic outlook.

“These types of cars will be the saviors of our sports cars,” he said.

Watch the video of Toyota’s cold-weather hydrogen vehicle testing below.

Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.
Emerging Tech

The robot waiters in this Japanese cafe are controlled by people with paralysis

An innovative new Japanese popup cafe is staffed by robot waiters, controlled from home by people with paralysis. Here's everything you need to know about this unusual, intriguing project.
Cars

Volkswagen may be planning a tougher challenge for its all-electric I.D. R

The Volkswagen I.D. R electric race car may head to the Nürburgring in 2019 for a lap-record attempt, according to a new report. Volkswagen will reportedly aim to set the quickest lap time ever by an electric car.
Cars

600-hp, $155K Polestar 1 is the alluring Volvo coupe you’ve been waiting for

Volvo's return to the coupe segment just took an interesting turn: the model will join the Polestar lineup, and it will get a 600-hp plug-in hybrid powertrain. The Polestar 1 will be built in China starting in 2019.
Cars

The Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake is the sexiest wagon ever

Aston Martin has revealed new photos of the limited-production Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake. The Vanquish Zagato line now includes the Shooting Brake, Coupe, Volante, and Speedster, each with bespoke styling.
Cars

Nissan and Italdesign’s GT-R50 concept will become a $1.1 million reality

The Nissan GT-R50 is a customized sports car built to celebrate the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and design firm Italdesign. Underneath the sleek bodywork sits a 710-horsepower engine fortified with race car components.
Mobile

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
Cars

Ford’s new Shelby GT500 Mustang will have 3D-printed brake parts

Ford's new $45 million Advanced Manufacturing Center will focus on emerging technologies, including 3D printing. One of the staff's first jobs is to print parts for the 700-horsepower Shelby GT500 Mustang.
News

World’s fastest electric race car to display at Petersen Museum

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak race car smashed the all-time record at the hill climb for which it was named. The all-electric VW record-holder will be on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles until February 1, 2019.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

This freewheeling Army truck-turned-tiny home is a labor of love

Most tiny homes are models of efficiency but one British metal worker has redefined the idea, converting an old Army truck into a mobile tiny home that comes with a bed, a sofa, a shower, and a beer garden.
Cars

Take a friend stargazing at 202 mph in the 2019 McLaren 720S Spider

McLaren has introduced the 2019 720S Spider. As its name implies, it's a convertible variant of the 720S coupe. The company promises the Spider retains the coupe's dynamism and agility thanks in part to the widespread use of carbon fiber.
Cars

Gateway’s born-again Ford Bronco boasts classic style, 2018 muscle car power

Illinois-based Gateway Bronco has received a license from Ford to make brand-new examples of the first-generation Bronco. Every build starts with a Ford VIN and a donor vehicle, but Gateway upgrades every part of the car.
Cars

Bloodhound’s plan to build a 1,000-mph car has run out of gas

The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) project has officially shut down. The upside is you can now buy a 135,000-horsepower car powered by a jet engine and a cluster of rockets for $319,000.