Toyota today revealed the exterior design of its hydrogen fuel-cell sedan, expected to launch in the U.S. and Europe next summer.
Toyota unveiled the concept car at last year's Tokyo Motor Show, and today gave the media a full look at its finalized design.
The vehicle will hit Japanese lots before April, priced at around 7 million yen ($68,660). Initial sales will be limited to those regions where hydrogen refueling infrastructure is available.
Toyota has been developing fuel-cell vehicles (FCVs) in-house for more than 20 years, following three principles for environmentally friendly automobiles: embrace diverse energy sources, develop efficient, low-emission vehicles, and drive change by popularizing these cars.
Nextcar Bug artHydrogen is a particularly promising alternative fuel, according to Toyota, thanks to its easy accessibility via solar and wind power, not to mention the fact that, when compressed, it boasts a higher energy density than batteries, and is easier to store and transport.
The Japan-based manufacturing giant has made great strides since it began leasing a fuel-cell hybrid SUV (Toyota FCHV) in 2002. The sedan revealed today, for instance, features performance similar to that of a gasoline-engine vehicle, with a cruising range of 700 km (435 miles) and a refueling time of about three minutes.
To boot, the running vehicle emits only the water vapor produced by a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, which generates the electricity to power the vehicle.
Toyota has been eyeing the sale of electric vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells since early this year. In January, the car maker showcased two demo FCVs at the Consumer Electronics Show—including the blue four-door sedan that was officially unveiled today.
This isn't Toyota's only hydrogen-related effort, though. The company is also testing fuel cells for use in homes, as well as developing fuel-cell-based forklifts and buses.
Take a closer look at Toyota's yet-unnamed fuel-cell vehicle in the video below.
Earlier this month, Hyundai debuted its first hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle in the United States. The carmaker handed the keys over to California resident Timothy Bush, who will pay $499 per month to drive the green vehicle.
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