Even as Toyota kicks out news about its expanded Prius family and exciting new hybrid concept, the auto manufacturer continues to also explore other more eco-fueling options for future vehicles. One of these options is hydrogen fuel cells, with Toyota saying today at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) it is expanding its fuel cell vehicle demonstration program here.
Toyota said it specifically plans to have “more than 100 Toyota Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle – Advanced (FCHV-adv) vehicles…placed in a nationwide demonstration program over the next three years.” These hydrogen fuel cell hybrids will be in more institutional settings first, such as universities, private companies and government agencies, in both California and New York. Plans include adding additional regions and partners as “new hydrogen stations come online.” The eventual goal? Demonstration of fuel cell technologies reliability and performance prior to a 2015 general market introduction.
“We plan to come to market in 2015, or earlier, with a vehicle that will be reliable and durable, with exceptional fuel economy and zero emissions, at an affordable price,” said Irv Miller, TMS group vice president of environmental and public affairs, in a statement.”Toyota will not be alone in the fuel cell marketplace and building an extensive hydrogen re-fueling infrastructure is the critical next step. Hopefully, expansion of demonstration programs like this one will serve as a catalyst.”