After years of hearing nothing but rumors about Toyota’s fuel-cell technology, and then a couple years more of only concepts and prototypes, Toyota has FINALLY unveiled the body of their production-ready FCV sedan. As you continue reading, we’ll learn all about this car’s design, pricing and launch date – everything Toyota’s told us so far.
Let’s start with the best part – pictures! First up is the global Toyota FCV model displayed last week in Japan, followed by the US-spec model displayed this week in Aspen.
Aside from color, the only noticeable difference between the US-spec and the Japan-spec vehicles is the yellow reflector in the black stripe along the US-spec’s front clip. Both vehicles are nearly identical to the original Toyota FCV Concept, with the only major differences being the addition of LEDs along the front air intakes, more realistic side mirrors, and a toned down rear-end.
Unfortunately, Toyota hasn’t revealed anything about the production FCV’s interior. Our guess is we’ll see the whole thing sometime towards the end of this year (2014 Tokyo Motor Show, maybe?) or the beginning of next (possibly at the 2015 Detroit Motor Show). Either way, we can’t wait to see more.
The production Toyota FCV is officially slated to launch in Japan in April of next year, with a US launch around the beginning of summer 2015. However, the US-launch especially will be rather limited… The FCV will start out with California-only availability, given that’s the only state with a hydrogen refueling infrastructure.
As for pricing, Toyota says that the Japanese market will get the first Toyota FCV for around 7M yen, which is around $68,700. However, Toyota specifically stated that this price may not carry over into the US/EU markets, depending on the price of exporting and the different legal requirements for each locale. In other words, even though we’ve seen the exterior of the FCV, there’s still a lot left undecided inside the car and in the background.
The good news is that Toyota has already surpassed their early estimates for fuel efficiency and driving range. The car was originally estimated to achieve a driving range around 300 miles, but the estimate has risen substantially now that production is in sight. The production FCV is expected to offer a driving range around 435 miles, or 700 km, which Toyota rightly notes is in line with the range of today’s gasoline engines. And that’s with the same refueling time of ~3 minutes, and the same 0-60 time of around 10 seconds.
You’ll have to stay tuned later this year for more detailed information, but in the meantime you can watch the promotional video Toyota released below: