Toyota planning $50,000 fuel cell car in 2015

Toyota hydrogen fuel cell test vehicle
Toyota, all set to release a plug-in version of its Prius in 2012, now says that in 2015, they will release a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle for about $50,000. While other companies such as GM and Honda have been testing their own versions of hydrogen fuel cell cars over the last couple of years, no other company has talked about what the possible prices of their cars would be; Toyota feels that they will be able to make money on their $50K fuel cell model.  They’re saying that their first model will be a sedan with a driving range about the same as an equivalent sized gasoline powered car.

Toyota has been pushing hard to reduce production costs by reducing the amount of platinum used in the fuel cell.  Platinum currently sells for about $1650 per ounce, so any reduction in the amount of platinum will have a huge impact on the bottom line – Toyota is looking to reduce the amount of platinum used per fuel cell from over 1 ounce to less than a third of an ounce.  They’ve also been finding cheaper ways to make both the thin-film that’s used in the fuel cell and the carbon-fiber hydrogen tanks.

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