Toyota is committed to bringing its hydrogen fuel cell vehicle to the U.S. market by 2015 and when it does there’s a chance that car will be a member of the Prius family.
Speaking to AutoGuide.com during the 2013 LA Auto Show, Toyota marketing executive Bill Fay said the company understands that the Prius name has considerable clout in the world of car buyers, especially when it comes to alternate-fuel vehicles.
“We haven’t totally decided on a name, but it’ll be interesting to see if we can leverage the Prius name or not,” Fay said. “We’ve been debating that a lot within the company.”
He also mentioned that the Prius brand name means a lot to consumers and the fuel-cell vehicle could fit right in.
“People equate Prius to a lot of things, it has a positive name out there regarding technology, innovative products and environmental friendliness,” he said. “Fuel Cell is a little different, but we’ve done some work to see if we can leverage the Prius brand and use it with fuel cell technology, or if the car will have a different name.”
Fay also made some connections between the importance of the new fuel cell vehicle and the original Prius hybrid.
“Potentially it really has a lot of positives similar to the Prius. When we launched the Prius over ten years ago, everyone was like ‘what is this thing?’ and now we’ve sold five million hybrids.”
“We’re very positive about the potential of the vehicle, primarily because it has zero emissions, it has outstanding range and takes only a couple of minutes to fill up the hydrogen tank,” he added.
The company unveiled its hydrogen powered FCV concept in Tokyo earlier this week and re-iterated its plan to launch the vehicle in 2015. While other automakers may be able to beat them to the market, very few will be able to compete with the marketability of the Prius name.
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