Toyota Announces Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car, Priced Competitively With Tesla S At $70,000 [VIDEO, IMAGE]
Toyota have risen to Telsa's call-to-action for more alternative fuel vehicles by revealing a fuel-cell driven car today.
The yet-to-be-named vehicle will cost ¥7 million, or about $70,000. Toyota has chosen to forgo electric technology for hydrogen fuel cell power. The 2015 sedan will launch in Japan in April, and make its way to Europe and the U.S. by next summer.
That price point will put this vehicle almost exactly level with the cost of the Tesla S--its most likely direct competitor. Though Toyota certainly had this car in development before Tesla decided to stop protecting its patents, this should be along the lines of what the relatively small company wanted to see from large manufacturers.
Non-fossil fuel vehicles make up an extremely small portion of the auto market, and by allowing anyone to access its innovative electric technology, Telsa hopes new fuels can make larger strides in replacing traditional ones. Even if Toyota is taking its own approach here and not using the tech Tesla opened to everyone, it will be interesting to see if this starts a trend of alternate fuel vehicles from major manufacturers.
The cars are certainly more expensive than most sedans, which will be prohibitive to the average consumer, but there is still a large market to be won. As CNET points out, California will seemingly be the first American market for Toyota's new attempt at penetrating this market, because it has already invested in hydrogen fuel stations. The infrastructure for this fuel type, and the high price, will be Toyota's greatest challenges going forward.