The Toyota FCV, a fuel cell electric car for 2015

Toyota has just presented its FCV, a fuel cell electric sedan planned for the big series. Great range and short charging time but high price, high volume and scarcity of fuel: the data of the problem are known but the Japanese number one can move the lines.

Japanese manufacturer Toyota presents its first highly anticipated hydrogen fuel cell sedan (PAC) model, the Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV). The car could be launched in Japan in April 2015 for about 7 million yen, or about 51,000 euros, before arriving in Europe and the United States a few months later.

To power an electric motor, the capacity of a CAP is better than that of a battery: the range of this sedan would be 700 km. The recharge time, too, is that of the full of a car with a thermal engine: Toyota announces 3 minutes. The system uses the reaction between hydrogen, stored at high pressure in the car (700 bars in the Toyota model) and oxygen from the air. The first benefit is the absence of emissions of pollutants since the exhaust pipe comes out of the water vapour. The environmental record depends on how hydrogen is produced, which is only a vector of energy.

The fuel cell: a solution that has been studied for a long time

The FCV takes up the main features of the concept car presented in 2013 at the Tokyo Motor Show. Already, at the 2012 World Motor Show in Paris, Toyota Europe Executive Vice President Karl Schlicht told Relaxnews that the project was already in the pipeline: "A first fuel cell hybrid car should be ready soon [...] That's why BMW has partnered with us."

Toyota is not the only manufacturer to floor on this type of ecological alternative. As part of its Project Driveway, for example, General Motors announced that it is approaching 5 million kilometres driven by its fleet of 119 fuel cell vehicles. In 2013, the group announced a partnership with Honda to develop this technology with a view to possible commercialization by 2020. Between 2002 and 2012, the two manufacturers have already filed more than 1,200 fuel cell patents.
If Renault opts for all-electric at the moment, Peugeot does not rule out any solution and has already presented a concept called Quark, based precisely on a fuel cell. There is still a long way to go to make this solution more feasible, first of all to generalize the adaptation of service stations...

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