Tokyo Motor Show 2011 is a little more than two weeks away and there is some buzz already about the two new fuel cell vehicles that will be unveiled during the event. Even, though the Japanese tsunami put a dent in the auto industry, the show must go on, as they say and the is leading the charge.
First up, automaker Daihatsu has decided that it will unveil its FC Sho Case automobile. This concept auto will be powered by a liquid fuel cell that uses no precious metals such as platinum, thus driving down the cost of the vehicle.
The Daihatsu FC Sho Case uses a metal-free liquid fuel cell system that is fitted underneath the floorboard of the vehicle giving passengers more room and storage space. According to Daihatsu, the FC Sho Case is classified as a light automobile.
And the Toyota FCV-R fuel cell concept auto is also supposed to be unveiled at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show. The Toyota FCV-R is a midsize sedan than runs on compressed hydrogen gas. This sedan is supposed to be available for commercial sale in 2015.
And this is big news. For the past 10 years (since 1992) the Toyota FCHV and now the upgraded Toyota FCHV-adv, (which is basically a Highlander SUV with a fuel cell system inside it) has been the vehicle of choice that the world’s largest automaker has been bringing to auto shows.
Toyota has been saying for months now that when they come to market with a production fuel cell vehicle the cost will be around $50,000. The assumption has been that the FCHV-adv was the vehicle that Toyota was referring to since it was the only one they were showing.
Now this assumption has been turned on its ear. Earlier this year I had called for Toyota to create a hydrogen fuel cell auto that was an alternative to the FCHV-adv SUV since I thought there would be a broader market for a smaller auto come 2015. I thought this mainly because the Toyota Corolla is the highest selling auto of all time and SUV’s don’t start to appear until you hit the top 30+ list.
So, now the question is which of these vehicles does Toyota intend to sell for $50,000 in 2015? Since patience is a virtue and Toyota has not officially unveiled their FCV-R yet, we’ll have to wait for this answer.