Bloomberg reported today that Toyota plans to offer a $50,000 hydrogen-powered vehicle by 2015. The company said it has cut the cost of making a hydrogen fuel cell car by 90 percent in the past five years. �SOur target is, we don�"t lose money with introduction of the vehicle,⬝ said Yoshihiko Masuda, Toyota�"s managing director for advanced autos. Masuda acknowledged that the market would be small. The company did not provide details about the vehicle.
The hydrogen announcement from Toyota, which has had a nearly singular focus on hybrids, is the latest move in a high-stakes chess game regarding green auto technology. In the past year or two, public and media support has shifted to electric cars and plug-in hybrids�which Toyota has been slow to adopt. General Motors, Nissan and others are attempting the steal the green car halo from the Toyota Prius by introducing new plug-in models that use little or no gasoline.
Toyota said it has cut hydrogen fuel cell costs by reducing platinum use to about one-third the previous level and finding cheaper ways to produce the thin film used in the fuel cells and the carbon-fiber hydrogen fuel tanks.
Some experts point to range and efficiency advantages that fuel cell cars have over gasoline or battery-powered vehicles. Nonetheless, high costs and lack of hydrogen refueling infrastructure remain major obstacles to affordable and practical fuel cell cars.
Read More... [Source: HybridCars.com]