The Japanese automotive giant, Toyota has reportedly increased its investment in hydrogen powered fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) and has got down to designing low-cost mass market SUV’s and passenger cars. As per sources, the firm plans to push the technology into trucks and buses to build economies of scale.
Yoshikazu Tanaka, chief engineer of the Mirai, Toyota’s FCV, said in an interview, that the company aims on shifting from limited production to mass production of FCV, reduce the amount of expensive material like platinum used in FCV components and eventually make the system more powerful and compact.
Incidentally, many automakers have dismissed plans to expand their production of fuel cell vehicles, having presumed them to be commercially impractical, however Toyota unlike its competitors is busy working on improving its Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle which is expected to be launched by 2020.
Ikuo Ota, Toyota’s manager of new business planning for fuel cell projects said, in a bid to achieve the benefits of mass production, the company will be using as many parts from their existing passenger vehicles and other models in the fuel cell trucks.
Apparently, Toyota hopes on improving performance of the next Mirai by pushing the driving range from 500 kilometers (310 miles) to 700-750 kilometers (435-466 miles), and further achieve a range of 1000 kilometers (620 miles) by 2025.
For the record, Toyota’s Mirai was launched in 2014 and was titled the world’s first production FCV, however its high cost (around $60,000) and lack of available refueling stations limited its appeal, eventually leading to sales lesser than 6,000 globally.
As per an official statement, the demand for FCVs is bound to increase as countries committed to electric vehicles like China will notice the advantages of fuel cell technology. In addition, the company also sees development in FCVs, owing to the scarcity of important EV battery material such as cobalt.
Ojaswita Kutepatil, a mechanical engineer by qualification, worked as a BDE and Technical Engineer before switching her profession to content writing. Currently, she works at AlgosOnline. as an Content writer, where she pens down write-ups pertaining to the market research industry. Crafting, reading, and music are some of her other areas of interest.