Fuel cell car cruises to Europe ‘next summer’

A four-seater car driven by fuel cells is launching in Europe next year. Japanese carmaker Toyota confirmed plans to release its hydrogen-powered sedan at the 2014 Paris Motor Show this week. […]

Register now!

By Vicky Ellis

A four-seater car driven by fuel cells is launching in Europe next year.

Japanese carmaker Toyota confirmed plans to release its hydrogen-powered sedan at the 2014 Paris Motor Show this week.

Due to go on sale in Japan before April 2015, with a price tag of seven million yen (about £43,450), the models should hit Europe by the summer.

The fuel cells use the energy released by a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen.

The fuel cell, battery and fuel tanks are installed under the floor “maximise cabin space and lower the car’s centre of gravity”.

Two fuel tanks store hydrogen at pressures of up to 700bar.

British energy storage company ITM Power welcomed the news, pointing out the “good timing” meant cars should arrive just as it has built three hydrogen refuelling stations in London.

Earlier this year Toyota’s US senior vice president of automotive operations, Bob Carter declared the idea of a hydrogen-powered car will no longer be dismissed as a “foolish quest” by “smart people”.

If Toyota has its way, it will introduce “several tens of thousands of vehicles per year” into the market by the 2020s.

In the meantime, it is part of the HyFive project responsible for delivering a fleet of 110 vehicles to six European cities, Bolzano, Copenhagen, Innsbruck, London, Munich and Stuttgart, along with carmakers BMW, Daimler, Honda and Hyundai.