Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles don’t cost the same as they used to during the early stages of their introduction. The cost has come down drastically from the time of prototypes to workable models.
Prototype fuel cell vehicles amounted to $1 million each at the time of development many years ago. But that, according to the group vice president of strategic planning for Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A, Chris Hostetter, has come down to around $50,000 for salable vehicles arriving next year.
Hostetter was speaking at the Fortune Brainstorm Green conference and he said that the sticker price for the vehicle would be well below $100,000.Toyotawould be releasing their fuel cell vehicles in the states next year, and they would be covered by the California Air Resources Board mandate.
The company currently has a pack of 100 fuel cell beta-test prototypes that are based on the Highlander crossover, and these are able to gain a real-world range of 440 miles. But the vehicle that comes out next year is said to have a Prius-like silhouette and size.
Hostetter said that it would be following the FCV-R concept hatchback which was revealed during the Tokyo Motor Show in 2011. The 2013 Tokyo Show will host an updated version of the FCV-R.
Toyota’s area of sales, for their fuel cell vehicles, cover only California and New York. California was looking to place 60 hydrogen stations all over the state but that number has now come down to half, with only eight stations currently in operation.
When the whole US market is considered,California and New York consists of less than 20 percent of the markets. So that would put the number of fuel cell vehicles that Toyota would sell in 2015 at around 2,000.