Filed under: LA Auto Show , Videos , Audi , Toyota , Volkswagen , Electric , Translogic , Technology The LA Auto Show is known for its environmentally friendly vehicle debuts. At last year’s show , hydrogen fuel cell concepts from Honda and Toyota joined a lease-ready Hyundai Tuscan FCEV to cast a green hue over the convention center. This year, automakers took us a step closer to a fuel cell future by offering drives of their hydrogen-electric hybrids. Translogic host Jonathon Buckley takes a ride in the Toyota Mirai , which is headed for production in 2016. He follows that with a spin in the Volkswagen Passat HyMotion and the Audi A7 Sportback h-tron quattro concept. Which of these fuel cell vehicles holds the most promise? Tune in to find out. Continue reading Translogic 164: Driving the fuel cell vehicles of the 2014 LA Auto Show Translogic 164: Driving the fuel cell vehicles of the 2014 LA Auto Show originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 26 Nov 2014 12:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Sedan , Toyota , Electric Looks like someone was able to read the future back in July. That’s when rumors first circulated that Toyota ‘s upcoming fuel cell vehicle will be called the Mirai. Today, Toyota president Akio Toyoda confirmed the name alongside plans to build out a hydrogen refueling infrastructure in the US Northeast. In Japanese, mirai (未来) means “future,” which is a fitting name for a car that Toyota believes represents the direction the auto industry will go in the coming years. In a promotional video announcing the name, Toyoda said, “For [Toyota], this isn’t just another car. This is an opportunity – an opportunity to really make a difference. And making a difference is what Toyota is all about.” To help that future come into existence, Toyota CEO Jim Lentz also disclosed the vague outline of a fuel cell infrastructure investment that Toyota and partner Air Liquide will make in a five-state Northeastern corridor that consists of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. The Mirai will be available there in 2015 and Toyota is going to build 12 stations in and around New York and Boston to support the launch. More details will be available later. Toyota says the Mirai will be able to go “up to 300 miles” on a tank and refuel in less than five minutes.
Filed under: Hybrid , Technology , Toyota , Electric Toyota is not bullish on EVs. That comes from the company’s North American CEO, Jim Lentz , who said the company will focus not on electrification, but on continued hybridization with a long-term focus on hydrogen fuel cells. Lentz questioned the long-range ability of EVs, saying that Toyota feels “there are better alternatives, such as hybrids and plug-in hybrids, and tomorrow with fuel cells.” Lentz spoke about Toyota’s focus on hydrogen following Forbes Brainstorm Green conference and barely a week after a battery deal between Tesla and Toyota ended , according to Automotive News . That deal provided for 2,500 battery packs for the Rav4 EV . While valuable to Toyota, the deal “was never about open-ended volume,” Lentz said. “It was time to either continue or stop. My personal feeling was that I would rather invest my dollars in fuel cell development than in another 2,500 EVs.” Freed of its venture with Tesla , hydrogen now appears to be in Toyota’s focus. According to AN, Toyota is starting in California, offering a $7-million loan to a company called FirstElement Fuel to develop hydrogen fueling infrastructure in the Golden State. Automotive News cites a study by Toyota that claims 68 refueling stations located across the state would provide for 10,000 HFC owners. California is already planning on having 50 stations by the end of 2016.
Filed under: Technology , Toyota While the cost of building a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle continues to go down over time, reports over the last few years have steadily maintained that the first Toyota hydrogen-powered vehicles for customers should ring up for around $50,000. Company officials cited this figure way back in 2010 , and have reiterated it in subsequent years. So, while a recent Automotive News report about the cost of Toyota’s 2015 Hydrogen car doesn’t offer up any new figures, it does offer an interesting pricing wrinkle. According to the report, the “cost factor” for the hydrogen vehicles will be in the $50k ballpark, meaning the retail price could be anywhere from there, up to as much as around $100,000. While certainly not inexpensive, being able to produce a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle for fifty large is a pretty massive improvement over the prototype cost of a few years ago, when the sticker was about $1 million a pop. While these very expensive prototypes are based on previous-generation Highlanders (pictured above), we’re told to expect that the final product will be a lot more in line with the Prius , as far as size and shape. Toyota’s production fuel cell car to cost between $50-100k originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 03 May 2013 08:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink