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Toyota unveils hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle

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(Toyota Motor Corp. photo) Toyota's new as-yet-unnamed fuel cell electric vehicle is scheduled to go on sale in California in 2015, following its roll-out in Japan and Europe earlier that year.

TORRANCE, Calif. (July 3, 2014) — Toyota Motor Corp. unveiled its first commercial zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCV) at the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival.

The company took the wraps off the new FCV June 25 in Japan, after which it made its North American debut June 27 at the festival in Aspen, Colo., sponsored by the Washington, D.C.-based Aspen Institute.

In a press conference in Japan, company officials revealed the exterior design of the FCV pre-production prototype. Interior features, along with the vehicle’s name, volume and full specifications will be released later, Toyota said.

The FCV will go on sale in the Japan domestic market before April 2015, the auto maker said, then in Europe in the summer of 2015, followed by its launch in California. The sedan will be priced in the Japan domestic market at approximately 7 million yen—or at more than $68,000 based on current exchange rates. Pricing in other markets has not yet been set.

For a special section on servicing hybrids and natural gas vehicles, check out the July 7 print edition of Tire Business—and check back at for the stories and photos.

“This is a zero-emission electric-drive, mid-size four-door sedan” said Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. “It produces sufficient electrical power to spin the electric motor for about 300 miles on a single fill-up, which takes three to five minutes.

“This is going to be a very special vehicle. And we believe we can bring it in at a very reasonable price for a lot of people.”

Toyota said the announcement about the FCV builds on its existing efforts “to provide customers with access to hydrogen refueling stations when the vehicle arrives in California.”

In May, the company announced a financial relationship with First Element Fuels to support the long-term operation and maintenance of 19 new hydrogen refueling stations across the state.

 “The success of fuel cell technology will depend less on the genius of the car, than on the ownership experience,” Mr. Carter said. “Stay tuned, because this infrastructure thing is going to happen.”

Toyota did not say where the FCV will be manufactured. The company operates 14 manufacturing plants worldwide—10 in the U.S.—and has 1,800 North American dealerships, with 1,500 in the U.S.

The auto maker sold more than 2.5 million cars and trucks—more than 2.2 million in the U.S.—in 2013.

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