Toyota's focus is

Toyota’s Fuel Cell Car: Pay Twice as Much per Mile Than Prius Hybrid

It promises to combine the freedom of gasoline vehicles with the environmental benefits of purely electric cars, but hydrogen fuel cell cars won’t be as cheap to fuel as either.

It might look futuristic, but it will initially cost more than twice as much to run as the Toyota Prius

It might look futuristic, but it will initially cost more than twice as much to run as the Toyota Prius

That’s the frank admittance of Toyota’s senior vice president Bob Carter, who told those at the JP Morgan Auto Conference in New York yesterday that the cost of filling up Toyota’s first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell car would initially be more than paying for a tank of gasoline.

Do some simple math, and it works out that the cost of driving Toyota’s $70,000 fuel cell sedan will be twice that paid by someone driving one of Toyota’s other eco-marketed cars: the classic Prius hybrid.

Quoting estimates from the U.S. Department of Energy, Carter said that Toyota’s 2016 Fuel Cell Sedan — which is rumored to go on sale in the U.S. next summer as the Toyota Mirai — will cost around $50 to fill from empty.

From that, expect a range of around 300 miles.

Using current Californian energy prices of around $4 per gallon and the average fuel economy of new cars sold in the U.S. last month, the same 300 miles of driving would cost you $47 in gasoline.

Look at the cost in a brand-new Toyota Prius with an EPA-approved 50 MPG fuel economy, and you’ll pay just $24. At peak electricity prices, the same amount of driving in a Tesla Model S would cost $11.

In Japan, Toyota has garnered some hefty incentives from the Japanese government for FCV buyers. Incentives in the U.S. and Europe are yet to be announced.

In Japan, Toyota has garnered some hefty incentives from the Japanese government for FCV buyers. Incentives in the U.S. and Europe are yet to be announced.

As part of its plans to encourage Americans to make the switch to hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, Toyota says  it plans to eventually build enough refuelling stations across the state of California to ensure that the majority of fuel cell customers are no more than six minutes away from a filling station. To that end, it has already invested $7.2 million in a joint project with First Element Fuels and Linde LLC to start construction of hydrogen filling stations across the state.

Like its home market of Japan however, this latest revelation about the cost of filling a hydrogen fuel cell car isn’t exactly great news for Toyota’s dream of the future.

Although Carter says the price of filling Toyota’s FCV will ultimately drop to around $30 per fill as economies of scale come into play, the cost of fuelling won’t be much less than fuelling a conventional car.

One solution of course is to follow Hyundai’s lead, which currently underwrites each and every refill of its limited-production Tucson FCV ‘compliance car’ across the state of California.

Toyota's first Fuel Cell Sedan will cost an estimated $70,000 -- and cost $50 to fill up for 300 miles of driving.

Toyota’s first Fuel Cell Sedan will cost an estimated $70,000 — and cost $50 to fill up for 300 miles of driving.

At an expected retail price of more than $70,000 before incentives however, Toyota will have to do more than offer free fuel to make its first mass-produced FCV car appealing to buyers.

In fact, unless it convinces the Federal government or the state of California to copy the Japanese government and offer large financial incentives for those willing to buy a fuel cell car, Toyota’s first hydrogen vehicle won’t herald the utopian future its supporters hope.

Instead, it threatens to become a car that only the extremely wealthy can afford, further expanding the rift between rich and poor in the green car marketplace.

Would you pay $50 to fill up with hydrogen? Do you know anyone who would? And how much do you think refuelling should cost?

Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.

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  • JohnCBriggs

    So Toyota is calling it Mirai, or the Japanese word for Future. Well perhaps it is the distance future, if at all.

    • CDspeed

      Toyota’s future will probably go as well as Fisker’s karma : )

      • Dig Deeper

        yea because Toyota has a terrible track record dont they? Lets bet against them, they and Honda and Hyundai never know what they are doing 😉

        • Play nice, folks. H2 and EVs are actually related, y’know; )

          • Dig Deeper

            I do know, the new FCEVs are hybrid Fuel cell-battery electric after all.

        • CDspeed

          Yes just look at all the recalls, Toyota’s unintended acceleration was only a little deadly.

          • Dig Deeper

            that proves it, Toyota doesn’t know what they are doing. Ignore the rest of their body of work. They are the only technology company to ever have product defects.

          • CDspeed

            Ok

          • justreadingthecomments

            you just got shit on ^.^

          • CDspeed

            Hmm 8 months ago, didn’t even remember this particular article.

        • JohnCBriggs

          For whatever it is worth, I’m a big Toyota fanboy. I have a Prius and a Corolla and have only ever bought Toyota vehicles.nnEven given that, the whole “logic” of the FCEV completely escapes me.

          • Dig Deeper

            Young technology on steep downward trajectory regarding cost that actually meets demands of consumers (range, refill time, resale value) with low emissions. nnCan’t say the same about any other option at this point. What else is there to understand?

          • JohnCBriggs

            FCEV is an expensive technology with expensive fuel, with 2 – 3 times higher emissions, massive new infrastructure needs, going absolutely nowhere. That is what needs to be understood.

          • Dig Deeper

            Ummm no. See graphics below that contradict your assertions on emissions. nnIn regards to massive new infrastructure needs the exact same thing can be said for a society that adopts EVs – our current grid system simply couldnt support all of the off-peak EV charging without massive capacity and transmission upgrades. nnThe thing people need to understand is the vast majority of our energy is thermal in origin. Creating hydrogen from a thermal source and using it in a FCEV rivals (if not bests) creating electricity and using it in an EV in terms of roundtrip efficiency. Efficiencies for Steam Methane Reformation and industrial scale H2O electrolysis can both approach 80%, whereas deriving electricity from thermal plants is typically between 30-60% efficient depending on plant type. nnWe have manufactured billions of Li-ion battery cells, by this point companies like Toyota have a good grasp on global resource constraints and potentials for cost reductions and performance improvement. On the other hand we have only produced a fraction of a fraction of that amount of commercial Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells. We have seen the cost come down by orders of magnitude and performance go up significantly over the last 20 years, and the price of the vehicle for Toyota has dropped 95% in the past 12.nnToyota and Honda pioneered battery usage in cars, and Toyota even owns Lithium mines. Based on the track record of each of these companies the move to discontinue their EV offerings was probably made for good reason.

          • JohnCBriggs

            Uhh, yeah, your graphic confirms my assertions about emissions. nnSIDENOTE: Do people even read what they post? This is the second time that this has happened to me in two days.nnIn the first graphic, 2010 numbers for BEV and FCEV show twice the emissions from a FCEV compared to a BEV. This was my assertion.nnAh, but the doubtlessly you will point out that in 2050 FCEV will be better. Ah, maybe. we can check back later. But what is the point? nnIn the mean time, the graphic interestingly shows that the max range for a BEV is 200 km (125 miles) in 2010, which we know to be wrong from the 245 mile 2008 Tesla roadster. So does anyone really believe the 250 km (155 miles) range limit in 2050 shown on the graph? Oh, well the 2012 Model S can do 265 mile range. So no.nnAnd it is largely a red-herring because EREV with ICE can make the range as long as needed without all the issues of Hydrogen. Electricity for short haul, ICE for longer haul. It would work for me, but perhaps not a good answer for trucking.nnEver wonder why none of the FCEV that are coming out are plug-ins? I’m sure it is because it would make it obvious how silly the hydrogen is. The vehicle could simply be powered from electricity, cheaply, efficiently, without the need for the hydrogen.nnAs for the cost being already rung out of Li-Ion battery cells, Tesla begs to differ and is undertaking the Gigafactory to cut the costs in half, again.nnSo back to my original point. The Mirai is the future, the distant future, if at all.

          • Dig Deeper

            No it doesnt. In 2015 the fuel economy of the Toyota FCV is estimated at 80 miles / kg H2, which is more than 40% greater than fuel economies assumed in 2010 (54 mi / kg H2). Things can change fast with young technologies.nnThe second graphic from the EPA released in 2013 shows FCV rountrip emissions at 190 g C02 per mile compared to 165 for EVs with a 300 mile range. Input real fuel economies of 2015 models and roundtrip efficiencies are similar for each. nnso back to my point, if investing in battery powered vehicles were such a sure thing the two most reputable manufacturers in the world who are also pioneers of battery powered vehicles would not be exiting the segment precisely when government incentives for ZEVs are ramping up.

          • JohnCBriggs

            Yes, the graphic shows just what I said.nThe fact that you wish to dispute your own graphic is a different problem.n And since your rose colored glasses only seem to work on FCEV and not EVs, the comparison is unreasonable. It is clear on the surface that the data doesn’t represent EVs accurately.nn Time and time again we see FCEV taking 2 to 3 times more electricity per mile than EVs. That has not changed. Any data you have about that would be greatly appreciated, although I do understand your lofty goal of using some form of CHP system to make hydrogen, which complicates the discussion from a simple KWH/mile comparison between FCEV and EVs.. Unfortunately, the USA has sadly done poorly with any type of CHP systems.nn So back to your original point. If Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai are doing it, it must make sense? Right? n But history is filled with companies making big bets and loosing. Until this point in time, hydrogen has been one of those bad bets. n Another similar one is Better Place which vaporized nearly a Billion dollars and they didn’t even need to build a car. I said the same thing about them. Why are people pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into something that is clearly a bad idea? I must be missing something. But I wasn’t (that time at least). It was a bad idea and smart people sunk money into it.nn In the case of hydrogen, it has been the US Government driving this until recently (which I supported at the time). Now there is only CARB left which is giving 9 credits for a FCEV and only 3 for an EV. Well, here we go again. They must see something that I don’t, or are they badly mistaken, again.nn In any case, I deeply respect the added level of information you bring to the conversation. Also, I kinda hope I’m wrong about FCEV. I’m attracted to the idea, but I’m not convinced.

          • Dig Deeper

            I remain an agnostic actually, EVs (or rather PHEVs in any near term) may well win the day. However I find the typical arguments that FCEVs are clearly a boondoggle to be either mis-informed or based on out dated information. So I will provide more up to date information that I have. nnAs stated before using clean forms of thermal energy such as geothermal or solar thermal can allow us to electrolytically produce hydrogen at efficiencies up to 80%. See page 50.nhttp://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1038&context=etdn this is admittedly not a commercially established method as of yet, but does hold a lot of promise, as do various other forms of producing hydrogen from excess thermal output, such as in nuclear power plants.nnLiterature indicates that large scale Steam Methane Reformation practices are already capable of producing hydrogen at 70% efficiency with a likelihood of reaching 80% with time http://inside.mines.edu/~jjechura/EnergyTech/07_Hydrogen%20from%20SMR.pdfnnJapan's J08 fuel economy testing rated the Toyota FCV at 80 miles /kg H2 http://www.caranddriver.com/news/toyota-fcv-concept-newsnThis is about a 42% improvement over the commonly cited figure of 54 miles / kg H2 by studies such as this ongoing one from the University of CA Irvine: http://www.apep.uci.edu/3/Research/pdf/SustainableTransportation/WTW_vehicle_greenhouse_gases_Public.pdfnnThis is largely attributable to the inclusion of battery powered regenerative braking in the vehicle as well as improved fuel cell efficiencies (EPA rates typical automotive fuel cell efficiencies at between 40-70%, in 2015 I would suspect Toyota is on the high end of that http://www.epa.gov/fuelcell/basicinfo.htm )nnIn regards to cost for several years now, Toyota has stated publicly that could cut the price of a fuel cell system by $1 million. As early as 2011 it was saying it would offer a fuel cell car for between $50,000 and $100,000US by 2015. As of a few weeks ago, we now know the MSRP of Toyota’s 2015 FCV sedan will be $69,000 USD, an over 95% reduction from the cost of its 2003 year model. Toyota has also reported that it believes it can reduce the volume of platinum catalyst needed for the entire vehicle to a similar amount used in the Catalytic converters of conventional internal combustion vehicles: http://www.technologyreview.com/news/521616/how-toyota-will-be-first-with-a-fuel-cell-car/nnIf carried by pipeline hydrogen distribution losses can be around 0.2% as evidenced by the previous use of “towngas” in Germany. If carried by vehicle the losses are closer to 7% (assuming inefficient ICE delivery).n Compression losses are reported to be between 8-10% of hydrogen energy content. nnTesla reports an 88% roundtrip efficiency for from charger to wheels. Upstream losses are around 67% for most thermal plants and 40-45% for Combined cycle gas plants. The EIA reports average transmission losses to be around 6% http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=105&t=3nnIf we make some assumptions based on the data above and run the numbers:nnFCEVnn75% Steam reformation * 85% fuel delivery and compression * 70% FCV efficiency = 44%nnBEVnn55% overall thermoelectric conversion efficiency of most efficient night time generators * 94% transmission * 88% charge and EV efficiency = 45%nnIf we assume the hydrogen is somehow transported via pipeline to distribution centers, as the Germans and other EU countries have done with town gas, the efficiencies go up in the FCEVs favor:nnFCEVnn75% Steam reformation * 91% fuel delivery and compression * 70% FCV efficiency = ~48%nnnThese are obviously some crude calculations with a fair amount of assumptions made, but I think the larger point that BEVs do not in fact have the enormous efficiency advantage that most assume in a grid dominated by thermal sources, is well demonstrated. nnnSo in my opinion from this point whichever technology improves more will win… and it is hard to posture a circumstance where BEVs could be incorporated for freight trucks, long range fleet vehicles or buses, agricultural or construction/industrial machinery etc due to weight and range considerations… whereas fuel cells can meet all of these requirements. So the fact that fuel cells will likely dominate these markets may also give them an edge when it comes to consumer vehicles.nnnAlso fuel cells being much much less mature seems to make them more likely to continue to achieve the significant cost and performance improvements we have seen over the past decade than batteries…. but again time will tell.

          • Fabio Restrepo

            All Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Honda, Hyundai, Walmart, Microsoft, and others are already investing billions on infra structure, they do not need the oil companies to do it. We will Have hydrogen stations by 2020 in all Walmart’s. California has will have close to 100 by the end of next year, this process will accelerate, when the oil becomes more scare, it will be depleted at some point, not to far. Hydrogen is sustainable energy, oil is not. It will be depleted.

          • Fabio Restrepo

            OIL WILL BE Depleted, that what needs to be understood, Hydrogen is here to stay, Can not be depleted.

          • JohnCBriggs

            Hydrogen isn’t energy at all. Much like electricity it is an energy carrier. You still need to find an energy source

          • Fabio Restrepo

            Is Water, just like your own body uses cell as energy, from water and food, Most cell processes use the same energy source, the rechargeable energy carrier, adenosine tri phosphate — ATP. ATP has this arrangement: a molecular unit of adenosine coupled to a chain of three phosphate groups, thus the name, adenosine tri phosphate

            A fuel cell is a device that converts the chemical energy from a fuel into electricity through a chemical reaction of positively charged hydrogen ions with oxygen or another oxidizing agent.[1] Fuel cells are different from batteries in requiring a continuous source of fuel and oxygen or air to sustain the chemical reaction, whereas in a battery the chemicals present in the battery react with each other to generate an electromotive force (emf). Fuel cells can produce electricity continuously for as long as these inputs are supplied.

            The first fuel cells were invented in 1838. The first commercial use of fuel cells came more than a century later in NASA space programs to generate power for satellites and space capsules. Since then, fuel cells have been used in many other applications. Fuel cells are used for primary and backup power for commercial, industrial and residential buildings and in remote or inaccessible areas. They are also used to power fuel cell vehicles, including forklifts, automobiles, buses, boats, motorcycles and submarines.

            There are many types of fuel cells, but they all consist of an anode, a cathode, and an electrolyte that allows positively charged hydrogen ions (or protons) to move between the two sides of the fuel cell. The anode and cathode contain catalysts that cause the fuel to undergo oxidation reactions that generate positively charged hydrogen ions and electrons. The hydrogen ions are drawn through the electrolyte after the reaction. At the same time, electrons are drawn from the anode to the cathode through an external circuit, producing direct current electricity. At the cathode, hydrogen ions, electrons, and oxygen react to form water. As the main difference among fuel cell types is the electrolyte, fuel cells are classified by the type of electrolyte they use and by the difference in startup time ranging from 1 second for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEM fuel cells, or PEMFC) to 10 minutes for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC). Individual fuel cells produce relatively small electrical potentials, about 0.7 volts, so cells are “stacked”, or placed in series, to create sufficient voltage to meet an application’s requirements.[2] In addition to electricity, fuel cells produce water, heat and, depending on the fuel source, very small amounts of nitrogen dioxide and other emissions. The energy efficiency of a fuel cell is generally between 40–60%, or up to 85% efficient in cogeneration if waste heat is captured for use.

          • JohnCBriggs

            Doesn’t answer the question of where the energy to make hydrogen comes from

          • Fabio Restrepo

            Water and natural gas, or Water and ethanol.

          • JohnCBriggs

            We can already run cars off of either natural gas or ethanol. Don’t see converting it to hydrogen as helpful.

          • Fabio Restrepo

            Natural Gas, and Oil is needed by Humanity for more important uses, to feed people, and will also be depleted one day, because of people addicted to it, and Ethanol, plantations of corn at a mass scale is needed, also needed to feed people instead than fueling cars, all this stupidity to fuel the same combustion engines cars, this cars are dinosaurs, The electric car is Superior, I own a Nissan leaf, I have 33.000 thousand miles, I never been in a gas station, no oil change require, or tune ups, no mechanics to repairs are require for thousands of moving parts etc… Runs better than a Combustion engine car, has a lot of torque, with no moving parts, no pollution to the environment etc… smooth ride with plenty of power, and electric motor can get your car one million miles with out changing the motor. the problem is the batteries, but the full cell will fix that problem.

          • JohnCBriggs

            Ah. I’m a LEAF owner as well.

          • Fabio Restrepo

            I would like to have the fuel cell pack install in to my Leaf, if ever available? to extended the range 300 miles. LOL.

          • Fabio Restrepo

            It’s easy to generate hydrogen gas at home or in a lab using common household materials. Here’s how to make hydrogen safely.

            Make Hydrogen Gas – Method 1

            One of the easiest ways to obtain hydrogen is to get it from water, H2O. This method employs electrolysis, which breaks water into hydrogen and oxygen gas.

            water

            9-volt battery

            2 paperclips

            Unbend the paperclips and connect one to each terminal of the battery.

            Place the other ends, not touching, into a container of water. That’s it!

            You’ll get bubbles off both wires. The one with more bubbles is giving off pure hydrogen. The other bubbles are impure oxygen. You can test which gas is hydrogen by lighting a match or lighter over the container. The hydrogen bubbles will burn; the oxygen bubbles will not burn.

            Collect the hydrogen gas by inverting a water-filled tube or jar over the wire producing the hydrogen gas. The reason you want water in the container is so you can collect hydrogen without obtaining air. Air contains 20% oxygen, which you want to keep out of the container in order to keep it from becoming dangerously flammable. For the same reason, don’t collect the gas coming off both wires into the same container, since the mixture could burn explosively upon ignition. If you wish, you can collect the oxygen in the same way as the hydrogen, but be aware this gas is not very pure.

            continue reading below our video

          • Fabio Restrepo

            Make Hydrogen Gas – Method 2

            There are two simple improvements you can make to improve the efficiency of hydrogen gas production. You can use graphite (carbon) in the form of pencil “lead” as electrodes and you can add a pinch of salt to the water to act as an electrolyte. The graphite makes good electrodes because it is electrically neutral and won’t dissolve during the electrolysis reaction. The salt is helpful because it dissociates into ions which increase the current flow.

            2 pencils

            salt

            cardboard

            water

            battery (could go as low as 1.5 V with the electrolyte)

            2 paperclips or (better yet) 2 pieces of electrical wire

            Prepare the pencils by removing the erase and metal caps and sharpening both ends of the pencil.

            You’re going to use the cardboard to support the pencils in the water. Lay the cardboard over your container of water. Insert the pencils through the cardboard so that the lead is submerged in the liquid, but not touching the bottom or side of the container.

            Set the cardboard with pencils aside for a moment and add a pinch of salt to the water. You could use table salt, Epsom salts, etc.

            Replace the cardboard/pencil. Attach a wire to each pencil and connect it to the terminals of the battery.

            Collect the gas as before, in a container that has been filled with water.

            Make Hydrogen Gas – Method 3

            You can get hydrogen gas by reacting hydrochloric acid with zinc.

            Zinc + Hydrochloric Acid → Zinc Chloride + Hydrogen
            Zn (s) + 2HCl (l) → ZnCl2 (l)+ H2 (g)

            hydrochloric acid (muriatic acid)

            zinc granules (or iron filings or strips of aluminum)

            Hydrogen gas bubbles will be released as soon as the acid and zinc are mixed. Be very careful to avoid contact with the acid. Also, heat will be given off by this reaction.

            Homemade Hydrogen Gas – Method 4

            sodium hydroxide (found in certain drain clog removers)

            aluminum (included in the drain removal products or you can use foil)

            Aluminum + Sodium Hydroxide → Hydrogen + Sodium Aluminate
            2Al (s) + 6NaOH (aq) → 3H2 (g) + 2Na3AlO3 (aq)

            This is an extremely easy method of making homemade hydrogen gas. Simply add some water to the drain clog removal product! The reaction is exothermic, so use a glass bottle (not plastic) to collect the resulting gas.

            Show Full Article

            Related

            Use the Activity Series of Metal To Predict Reactivity

            Understand the Difference Between Oxidation and Reduction

            10 Facts About Acids and Bases

            10 Interesting Facts About the Element Hydrogen

  • CDspeed

    Let’s also remember the billions it’ll cost to put in enough fueling stations to make hydrogen practical. That’s why we should go electric, anyone can put in electric car chargers it’s as easy as installing home appliances. You don’t have to buy property, build a building, and hire staff to run the EV infrastructure. The startup costs, and running costs for EVs is so cheap compared to any other fuel it clearly shows what a scam hydrogen is.

    • Dig Deeper

      Lets also remember the billions that it would cost in grid capacity and transmission upgrades to meet nightime demand for a nation of people who charge EVs. That and the limited range and longevity of batteries is why we should go hydrogen. 😉

      • CDspeed

        No, we shouldn’t go hydrogen for those reasons, that is an argument that only holds up if batteries do not evolve their technology any further. Your thinking is the same as those who were against the automobile over a century ago.

        • Dig Deeper

          umm well knowing a thing or two about electrochemistry it is not a foregone conclusion that batteries will yield the cost or performance that conventional vehicles can in the near term. You see, batteries are an extremely mature technology, with well over a billion Li-ion cells produced globally. Fuel cells by comparison are in their infancy, and as such we would expect to see greater improvements from the younger and less studied tech as has clearly been the case in the past 15 years with fuel cells trending down in costs by orders of magnitude, and the vehicles by over 95% since Toyota first released an FCV in 2002.

          • u010eakujem

            Don’t start a counter argument with “ummm” if you want to be taken seriously.

          • Dig Deeper

            So does my use of umm supercede the importance of the content of my argument?nnDon’t base your evaluation of ideas or arguments on grammatical delivery rather than content of what is being said… if you want to be taken seriously.nnummm hows that?

          • PaloAltoWorldView

            I agree that fuel cells should not be dismissed. It all depends on the object of comparison. This would all shake out naturally if there weren’t any subsidies, red tape or taxes that skew the market. Let people make whatever cars they want and see what consumers choose to buy.

          • Dig Deeper

            I think companies are making whatever cars they want. Toyota, Honda, and GM decided they wanted to invest billions into FC research for whatever reason. For their sakes I hope its a good reason.

          • PaloAltoWorldView

            Clearly there will be SOME research done into FC and other things. Toyota started in 1992, before most mandates. But at some point, if the research doesn’t prove economical, it only goes on with greater intensity and productization if mandates force the issue.

          • Dig Deeper

            mandates for production of ZEV compliance cars aren’t very large and only in certain states. Toyota/Honda could have more easily met these by just continuing to manufacture the Fit EV and Rav4 EV for which there is a more established market… instead they discontinued these models.nnIt certainly says something, that much can’t be denied. Whether it is the right bet or not remains to be seen, but I suspect each of these companies knows a whole lot about the issue that we do not, primarily because each has a huge amount of experience in hybrid battery powered vehicles.

          • Don-Flyboy

            We don’t know who is involved in their stockholder base influencing their decision to drop these initial early EV’s. But ALL EV’s were dropped by the major automakers after GM’s horde of lawyers and the “Big Job” buyoff of the CARB board chairman enabled the original clean air laws to be rescinded. And the EV1’s were recalled and crushed. That was the end of the Electric Car. They thought. They didn’t count on Elon Musk and the guys from AC Propulsion…and the fabulous performance of the Tesla Roadster, followed by the even more incredible Tesla Model S and now the astonishing performance of the P85D. Tesla certainly has changed the perception of EV’s All-Over-The-World. Toyota will ultimately HAVE to re-enter the EV game…it is unstoppable now. People could be fooled into thinking they were no good and had lots of shortcomings, because GM controlled the information. But now the word is out that EVs are actually superior to gas cars….and would of course require less money to run than FCEVs, less maintenance and wider range for decades before any kind of nation-wide hydrogen infrastructure is deployed. Electricity is just about everywhere….including 240 volts. How many sockets you think exist on your neighborhood? 1,000? More? It is a huge blessing to “fill your tank” at home at 1/4th or less the cost of gasoline, and leave every day with a “full tank”, FCEV’ers would still have to make a special stop to buy hydrogen…and FCEvs really are limited to where they can go. Plus its is a rolling bomb…..just like gas cars, with 200,000 fires in just America every year. (only really big car fires make the news). No thanks. I am done with buying at the pump. I’ll happily get my power from the thermo-nuclear fusion STAR around which our tiny planet orbits. That makes tons more sense to me rather than polluting gas wells and stinking, poisoned air refineries where the Hydrogen will come from. Its stupid. And it is entirely all about fleecing YOU. You are just gullible enough to hand them the shears and bend over.

          • CDspeed

            Technology continues to mature, batteries haven’t stopped they’re still evolving.

          • Dig Deeper

            yes but meeting range, refill time, cost, and resale value that consumers demand is not a sure thing.

          • CDspeed

            Give it time, I doubt you’re psychic.

          • Dig Deeper

            Im not psychic, and I will give it time. Batteries could evolve but its not a foregone conclusion.

          • Don-Flyboy

            Its already past proven. Looked up the resale value of a Leaf or Tesla? And that range issue is only a figment of YOUR imagination. EV owners don’t have a problem. nMaybe you haven’t heard, but most EV owners recharge at night while they sleep. Refill time is a few seconds to plug in the jack and walk away. Its an automatic process, you don’t have to stand there and breathe stinky fumes like filling a gas car for five minutes or more. EV Cost is coming down. Leafs are selling well all over the world. Production is rising and there are not any big inventory of them laying around on dealership lots. But lots of gas cars don’t have buyers anymore!! Vega, Yugo, Pinto, there’ a long list of junky cheap unreliable gas cars that were foisted upon the public to make a fast buck. How come you never talk about the down side of gas cars? How many times have a mechanical failure left you stranded? Ever run out of gas? Ever had a gas fire? My Porsche caught on fire. My Chevy Dually 3500 Big Block truck required a $500 repair about every 45 days. My Mother’s Buick was extraordinarily expensive whenever it needed anything…..really hard on a woman in retirement after her husband passed. EV’s? Almost zero maintenance….absolutely no “Regular Replacement Parts” What’s not to love?!?! There is an annual multi-billion dollar replacement parts business…that’s why the big automakers don’t want EVs on the road. No Parts Industry Required….EVs Are Clearly Superior!!!

          • info

            NASA has been using fuel cells since the 1960s!

        • Dottowbird

          Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the Universe, and We the Scientific advance Monkeys, can not harness this free fuel, The Sun is power with Hydrogen, God put this Star in front of US.
          We are just starting to learn a little of this power, however; Some people still think that the planet is flat, instead of round.
          Batteries always loose charge.

          • Dottowbird

            The Sun does not need to be charge.

          • CDspeed

            But you can get a charge from the sun……

          • Fabio Restrepo

            Yes, but Hydrogen is the least expensive fuel in the planet, and you can get more energy from it than any other alternative fuel, it is foolish to think otherwise, God made the Sun, The most powerful source of energy and is power with Hydrogen which last billions of years, Fuel Cell Technology is the best discovery of our life time. like it or not. I want one Toyota Mirai ASAP.

          • CDspeed

            Yes keep the oil industry alive, and humanity chained to the pump.

          • Fabio Restrepo

            What oil?, Hydrogen is water HO2?

          • CDspeed

            No not oil itself, the oil industry, who do you think will be selling you hydrogen….

          • Fabio Restrepo
          • Surya

            1) No, hydrogen is not the least expensive fuel since it is not a fuel. It’s an energy storage device. And as it stands it costs more (both in money and energy) than batteries
            2) If the sun is H2, how do you propose we harvest that H2 from the sun? I don’t see that happening in the next billion years or so.
            3) No one here is stopping you from getting a Mirai. What is stopping you? The high price maybe?

            PS: so far it has not been scientifically been established that the sun was made by any deity, but that is besides the question.

          • Fabio Restrepo

            Fuel cell energy, made the trip to the Moon possible, not solar panels. remember that.

          • CDspeed

            There’s quite a big difference between a rocket, and a car.

          • Fabio Restrepo

            I am taking about, the powering of the Module and all the instrumentation when at the moon, was done with Fuel cell technology, We did not have batteries with long life’s to power anything or solar panels, to power anything. all this alternatives are very limited in power even today.
            I am not taking about the rocket fuel.

          • CDspeed

            That may be but it is not vastly abundant on the earth, and it requires a vast amount of energy to extract. And yes batteries do loose charge, that’s where the plug comes in Lol!

      • My personal experience would counter your position. Compared to 2007 I am using 20% LESS electricity per day at my home, despite buying a LEAF in 2011. How is that possible?nnnEnergy efficiency has given me enough electrical headroom to charge a car and still use less electricity than I did 7 years ago. If the entire nation did that then we’d use much less oil and 20% less electricity.nnnElectricity demand is DOWN quite significantly compared to 2007 across the nation. We have the capacity.

        • Dig Deeper

          Energy efficiency is great and the best measure, but it takes money and/or discipline, two things typical Americans have been reluctant to supply for the last 40 years since the ee movement has been pushed. I see LEDs helping things but not a major overnight change…. And you have one EV, many families will need to charge 3 or 4. A scenario of large EV adoption will necessitate large grid upgrades there’s no way around it.

          • Radu00e8

            It doesn’t metter which one is on top, both are better than gasoline, in many ways. I don’t mind having both of these technologies continuing to coexist. Competition creates more choices for the buyer, which in return forces manufacturers to improve continuesly.

      • Don-Flyboy

        False Logic Mr. Dig Deeper. The grid is capable of fulfilling peak demand, during the busiest hours of the day, for homes, businesses and the huge demands of industry. At night demand drops off dramatically, and thus EV owners “refueling” at night would simply raise the grid usage at night, not exceed its capability and certainly not stress it as you suggest…..but wait…..many EV driver/owners also buy Solar Panels. (Hydrogen cannot be safely “refined” at home…..with gas & hydrogen you are stuck being the Fossil Fuel Baron’s slave…no thanks for me….I’m done supporting those JERKs meddling with all their millions in our Democracy…to twist it so they make more money….like a multi-billion profit industry getting government subsidies…absurd). Some EV owners have sufficient solar that it covers both their home and their car. Remember 95% of the population drives less than 50 miles a day. the median male drives 32 miles but the median female goes only 26 miles. So that’s only about a couple hours recharge to fully recover the battery… at 240 volts. So your argument FAILS on several levels. nBut that’s OK we understand that the Conservatives are aghast that the EV’s are so popular….so any lie they can make up to try and dissuade more people from buying EV’s is worth a try. That’s desperation at its best. I laugh every time I pass a gas station, and I am eager for the day I can pass them A-L-L!!

        • Dig Deeper

          actually to provide recharging network necessary and to avoid local transmission bottlenecks will entail considerable investment. It is true that our grid system has enough peak generation to support millions of EVs, but there is still infrastructure needed to make neighborhoods compatible with dozens of EVs charging at once, or a household with 3 or 4. Same for apartments.

    • Technically and financially EV’s make more sense than Hydrogen. But the best technology doesn’t always win. Here’s the danger.nnnEV’s have already got a reputation as having short ranges and long charge times. Hydrogen while more costly, fuels in a very similar way to conventionally fueled vehicles. Consumers may make their choice not based on common sense or economics, but based on habit. I see in the article Toyota plans to fund the building of at least some Hydrogen stations.nnnAs crazy and insane as it may seem, Hydrogen is a very real challenge to EV’s.nnnHopefully Tesla can erase the sub standard reputation EV’s have and switch more and more onto driving EV’s before Hydrogen vehciles are more widely available.nnnIn the short term Hydrogen is being used to capture CARB state credits to allow those manufacturers to continue to sell conventional vehicles. That doesn’t bother me, its the possibility that wider acceptance of Hydrogen by the uninformed consumer (reinforced by propaganda) will take hold.

      • davidl

        What about a PHFCEV? (plug-in hybrid fuel cell EV)nnnSure, it would start at the extreme top end of the market. But IMO there would be a market for e.g. a Tesla Model X with a hydrogen fuel cell to extend its range, especially in California, if the “white” carpool stickers are extended and the “green” ones expire on schedule (as many predict) – this is a significant incentive alone, without needing the tax credits/etc.nnnA PHFCEV would offer good energy efficiency on every day trips (from the battery) while being viable for longer trips, if the hydrogen stations were built to fuel it on those trips.nnnThat said, if the same incentive existed for a PHNGEV (plug-in hybrid natural gas EV), we’re closer to having a natural gas distribution grid…

        • PHFCEV may make sense, but Toyota will resist doing it. It will reveal to the unwashed masses that a Fuel Cell car is an electric car with a battery. Toyota won’t want consumers to understand this. They are all in on the Fuel Cell kick and like to diss BEV’s at every turn they can.

        • Fabio Restrepo

          Mercedez Benz F015 Luxury has developed a prototype, with 4 electric motors and each with 150 HP total of 600 HP, this car is faster than a Tesla, and it does not loses power when the batteries are week, since the batteries are getting electrons juice all the time from the fuel cell, It gets a 900 kilometers about 500 miles miles range with one hydrogen filed,
          Hydrogen can be compress in to a small area, You can not do that with any other fuels. Hydrogen will power the world of the future.

          • Fabio Restrepo

            Actually is 1100 kilometers, 200 on the batteries, and 900 on the fuel cell.

    • Dottowbird

      Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the Universe, and We the Scientific advance Monkeys, can not harness this free fuel, The Sun is power with Hydrogen, God put this Star in front of US.
      We are just starting to learn a little of this power, however; Some people still think that the planet is flat, instead of round. xxxx

    • info

      H2 infrastructure is not complicated – it’s very similar to current ICE fuel. Building a grid around the planet is far more energy intensive. H2 from renewable sources also possible. However this car (like Prius and most modern ICE) is too heavy and has a large frontal area so wil not use energy efficiently. Unlike Riversimple. http://www.riversimple.com/batteries-hydrogen-wrong-question/

  • vdiv

    Does the TE site have a “Mirai filter”. Not too keen on seeing this hideous thing, it gives me nightmares. And no, I will not dress up as one for Halloween. 😉

    • CDspeed

      The Nightmare That Drove Down Elm Street : )

      • vdiv

        “Alien vs. Predator vs. Mirai: The Free-For-All”, rated D (for duh!), coming to a theater near you. 😉

  • Esl1999 .

    Future Man is here to tell you what 2050 will be like.nAll commercial and, to some degree, small private planes will be powered by FCsnMost trains will have converted to FCs.nBuses and trucks will be powered by a mix of pure electric and FC-Battery hybrids.n90% of all cars on sale will be E-powered with 9.8% going to FC. The last .2% will be Rolls Royce cars powered by Unreallium. Technically, it’s Anti-Dark Matter. Needless to say, it’s really, really, really expensive. Na-Nu Na-Nu for now.

  • Surya

    I don’t ever want to go back to any fuel that I can’t fill up at home over night. And paying that much doesn’t sound attractive either. Especially since the car seems the have few upsides and is frekkin expensive.

    • Benefits of the fuel cell vehicle? The fuel cell makes a nice whirring noise.nnnAs much as you and I don’t want to go back to the pump, Toyota and the oil industry is quite happy to provide Hydrogen at a similar cost as gasoline/petrol. The uneducated consumer will say, hey I pay $50 per fill now and go about 300 miles. Seems like a winner.

      • Surya

        Even if hydrogen drops to the same price as gasoline, electricity is still cheaper, especially with a solar array 🙂

        • Totally agree about the cost, however the consumer doesn’t have to change any habits fueling hydrogen vs gasoline/petrol/diesel. They will go to the same place, perform a similar fueling operation and pay pretty much the same. It will take a decision to change their habits to start fueling their cars with electricity, and accept the need to plan longer journeys.nnnThere is a big chance IMHO that as creatures of habit consumers may pass up the better deal of electric only drive and buy Hydrogen as a direct replacement for their current fuel of choice.nnnNotice how Toyota promote their car as an FCV. Fuel Cell Vehicle. They don’t dare mention it is in fact a FCEV, they downplay the fact that the cars are in fact EV’s with the addition of a fuel cell. They bad mouth BEV’s while disguising the fact that their FC cars are electric as well.nnnIt will be interesting to see which of the two vehicle types becomes the most popular. I can see it going either way.

          • Surya

            I can’t. I don’t see where in the near future FC technology will catch up with BEVs. Not if you see how fast BEV tech is evolving. But I could be wrong.

        • Fabio Restrepo

          Hydrogen will be cheaper, since you do not need expensive batteries or depleted fossil fuels. Hydrogen is water.

          • Fabio Restrepo

            HO2

          • Fabio Restrepo

            H2O

          • Surya

            Tip: you can edit your own comments if you make typos

          • Fabio Restrepo

            You can buy the car for $57000.

          • Surya

            Erm, no, water is not H2 and H2 is not water. Do you have any idea how hydrogen is made? Yes, it has to be made. You can’t just hook your car up to the water supply and refuel your car. It seems you are not informed on the matter.
            H2 is created by doing electrolysis on water (which uses lots of energy) or by splitting the carbon atom off of methane. That’s a fossil fuel. And that’s also the most common and cheapest way to do it. So switching to hydrogen doesn’t solve anything.

            Yes, batteries are more expensive than fuel tanks (currently) but hydrogen fuel stacks are even more expensive and need bullet proof fuel tanks in order to operate. And the pumps need to be extremely high pressure. Everything involved is complicated and expensive. A hydrogen pump costs about 1m to build. A fast charger between €1.000 (AC) and €50.000 (DC).

          • Fabio Restrepo

            The cost of the instrumentation to contain Hydrogen gas has been reengineer at 350% less costly, and reduced in size by 35%, the cost of these technologies are now possible for mass production at a lower cost, the Japanese and Germans have master this technologies, even Germans subs are power with fuel cell teck. The Toyota Mirai can lease fro $350 a month, the car cost $57000.00 with Free Hydrogen for 36 months.
            You sound like an OIL supported, OIL is unsustainable, It will be depleted, and batteries will never be better than fuel cell teck. The Sun is power with hydrogen it solves fro Us to exist.

          • Surya

            I don’t know where your figures come from, so I can’t check them.

            But how would I be supporting oil? I’m saying BEVs are better than H2. Big oil supports H2. I drive an EV. I don’t follow your reasoning. Not only am I not for oil, I have made my life so that I don’t even use fossil fuels.

            And batteries are better than FC stacks now, except that they take longer to charge. All the rest is better. You can buy EVs cheaper. The Bolt EV proves this.

            The fact that the Mirai costs $57.000 doesn’t say anything about the FC cost, as I read reports Toyota is actually making a loss on every copy they sell.
            The fact that they supply you with 36 months of free fuel doesn’t say anything about the cost of the fuel either. And both Nissan and Tesla also give you free charging.

  • jjaayyzz

    Interesting to read CDSpeed and Dig Deeper’s comments.For what its worth, here is what I think:nnnBoth EV and FCV present challenges. However, the key differentiation lies in time required to build up expertise in house and what sort of components are likely to be easily sourced from component suppliers in the future for both technologies. Take two imaginary groups of engineers who are given the task of building an EV car and an FCV car. Imagine they are given the building blocks available from shared suppliers like bosh and denso. How long would it take the EV team to complete the job learning and gathering expertise as they go. What about the FCV team? It will not take a scientist to understand that FCV technology is completely new territory and the likelihood of bosh and denso selling building blocks for an FCV car is NILL for the foreseeable future.It will take many many years of R&D in house to build up expertise – up to a level required to produce RELIABLE and SAFE cars. Ask yourself this? Can we buy even a Toy FCV car today vs even today, we have great Ride-on Toy electric cars being manufactured by 1 year old Chinese companies. Give an enthusiastic hobbyist a efficient motor, good battery pack and control unit bought from ebay, it will not take too long to come up with an EV car that moves.nnnFinally, consider this – if TODAY, someone discovers a great new battery chemistry that has very little aging or capacity loss, huge energy density and cheap manufacturing – it will not take long for an established car company to design a car using this battery technology – we know batteries are sourced from 3rd parties anyway. Furthermore, battery manufacturing is a very specialized job anyway – mega/giga factories designed to produce batteries with current technology will a require huge injection of cash when battery chemistry is changed – so having mega battery plants now adds little value for the future – can you imagine trying to work out a figure for the rate of depreciation for these battery plants?nnNow what do you think – who is wiser ? GM? Tesla? Ford? or Toyota ?n

  • Russ Sciville

    Not another “Fool Cell” report. What never seems to be said is that it is an electric car with a pressurised cylinder at thousands of psi and that it takes more energy to generate hydrogen than a car fueled from oil.nHydrogen is a non starter. Electric cars will not cause a major problem with our distribution as it will be upgraded as and when required over many years.nSolar cells on a house will offset the electricity an average commuter will use.

  • MrDard123 .

    LOL, would i pay 50 dollar to fill my car, hell yeah, i pay 110 dollars to fill my Volvo, so that would be awesome, makes me wonder how fucking cheap it is in usa? cuz in sweden every car cost around 100 dollars to fill, expesive as hell. and the reason it is so expensive is

  • axe

    Don’t be daft. just use bob boyce electrolyser and you can get hydrogen for dirt cheap.

  • axe

    Batteries are designed to wear out.

  • MrDard123 .

    i pay 110 dollar to fill my car about 53 litres. welcome to Sweden, where you pay tax on tax. today the total tax on petrol in sweden is about 62 percent.

  • Taylor

    Really sad state of events…when I was a young teen, I hoped that I would be able to afford a fancy green car as a young adult…but I can’t. I’ve been thinking about purchasing a new or used Nissan Leaf. At least Nissan offers a somewhat affordable green option.

  • t_newt

    There’s a number of misconceptions.nnFirst of all, a fuel cell car is an electric car. That’s right–electric motors are driving the car. Hydrogen is converted to electricity to power the motors.nnIt is an electric car with a refillable hydrogen battery. nnIf you make up data you can prove any point you want. That’s why it is better to use real data:nnHydrogen costs $5/kg now. You don’t have to do (incorrect) estimates based off of energy department data–there are fuel cell stations existing now, and that’s what’s showing on the pump:nhttp://media.caranddriver.com/images/media/51/chevrolet-equinox-fcv-training-required-fill-screen-576px-photo-340814-s-original.jpgnnThe Toyota has a 5kg tank, which is $25 to refill, not $50. The estimated range is about 300 miles. If gas costs $4/gallon then this non-polluting car costs as much to fuel as a car that gets 48mpg. nnAnd hydrogen prices are expected to go way down and gasoline prices are probably going to go up.nnHydrogen can come from natural gas using ‘reforming’. That’s how a number of the hydrogen stations in California create hydrogen. It is very efficient and there’s no electric grid improvements needed. You can put a reforming station at your house, and refill your car at home! (Honda’s fuel cell website talks about this). Or if you don’t like the idea of using natural gas, you can use solar panels to create hydrogen.nnTesla battery recharging stations don’t scale. If you drive from San Francisco to LA, you can use Tesla’s free recharging station about half way there on highway 5. There are about 3 ‘pumps’. Lets say 1/2 the drivers on this route have electric cars. That’s probably 100 people an hour? So, are all 100 people going to wait for three recharging stations at half an hour per charge (and these fast charges damage the battery)? That’s a 33 hour wait. Also battery electric cars are always carrying the weight of the battery around. Hydrogen cars, like gasoline cars, get lighter as you drive.nnThe best of all worlds is an electric car with a quickly refillable batterynnIn other words, a fuel cell car.nn(And to Elon Musk: an electric Tesla with a hydrogen refillable battery would be about the coolest car in the world–passing up the present coolest car, which you are selling now. Think about it).nnConsumer reports tested a car:nhttp://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/02/driving-toyota-s-new-fuel-cell-car/index.htmnnI also found a transcript of Bob Carter’s speech:nhttp://pressroom.toyota.com/releases/2014+jp+morgan+carter.htmnAnd he’s using Department of Energy estimates of hydrogen prices that are double what you actually pay right now at hydrogen pumps in California. So it seems the whole base for Bob’s comment and this article are based off a bad number.

  • Johnson Floyd

    Hydrogen will be the future, because you can produce it in your back yard, store it in a tank, move it to your car. Simplicity.

  • George from Seattle

    The ads by Toyota evade discussing the fuel mileage and cost to the point of deceptiveness and are certainly disrespectful of potential customers.

    • How many other car ads feature fuel costs? Per mile, hydrogen costs about twice as much as gasoline according to TransportEvolved.com/2014/08/13/toyotas-fuel-cell-car-pay-twice-much-per-mile-prius-hatchback/

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  • Dottowbird

    Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the Universe, and We the Scientific advance Monkeys, can not harness this free fuel, The Sun is power with Hydrogen, God put this Star in front of US.
    We are just starting to learn a little of this power, however; Some people still think that the planet is flat, instead of round.

  • info

    Just think of all the money saved on bottled water!

  • info

    All it would take is to increase gas prices to european levels and incentivize H2 for Prius to cost more. But both car are energy inefficient compared to cars made even 15 years ago.

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