Toyota is doubling down on its investments in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. It plans to design lower-cost, mass-market passenger cars, as well as SUVs and implement the technology into buses and trucks. This is needed in order to build economies of scale.
The carmaker plans to popularize the technology by making hydrogen fuel cell vehicles cheaper. The first step will be cranking up improvements for the next generation of its Mirai FCV, expected in the early 2020s. Toyota hopes that it can prove wrong its rival automakers and industry experts who mostly believe such plans are commercially unviable.
“We’re going to shift from limited production to mass production, reduce the amount of expensive materials like platinum used in FCV components, and make the system more compact and powerful,” Yoshikazu Tanaka, chief engineer of the Mirai, said in an interview with Reuters.
Other hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, such as SUVs, pick-up trucks, and commercial trucks are planned to be revealed around 2025. “We’re going to use as many parts from existing passenger cars and other models as possible in fuel cell trucks,” said Ikuo Ota, manager of new business planning for fuel cell projects at Toyota. “Otherwise, we won’t see the benefits of mass production.”
The company also desires to improve the maximum range of the models for Mirai to 750 km(It is 500km now) and to push it in the future up to 1,000 km.