Electric cars are not the future, even in Europe where public perception of gas alternative mobility solutions is significantly more favorable. That, at least, is the opinion of the world’s largest automaker, as expressed by Toyota Motor Europe CEO Didier Leroy at the Paris Motor Show this week.
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Electric cars may have arrived, but the search for the perfect alternative fuel is still in progress. There are still a few major issues that keep battery powered vehicles from replacing the internal combustion engine.
Sharing Toyota‘s stage with the production Prius Plug-in Hybrid at the Tokyo Motor Show are two eco-conscious concept cars that give a clear hint as the the automaker’s future green car plans. The FT-EV III Concept is a near production electric city car, that will go on sale next year (branded as a Scion in North America). Moving several years beyond is the FCV-R fuel cell concept. Looking like something that actually might make it to production, Toyota has said it plans to offer a fuel cell vehicle to fleets by 2015.
GALLERY: Toyota FCV-R Fuel Cell Concept
For more on both cars, watch the video below:
Fuel Cell Vehicles that run on electricity and emit nothing but water vapor may sound like a pipe dream, but Toyota is reconfirming its commitment to making them a reality by 2015 with the new FCV-R Concept. Unveiled today at the Tokyo Motor Show, the FCV-R (Fuel Cell Vehicle – Reality & Revolution) is a strong hint that Toyota is far more serious about mass production hydrogen fuel cell vehicles than it was when it first began testing the modified Highlander FCHV back in 2007.
Toyota has said it will offer a fuel cell model for fleet use in 2015 and while that is still a ways off, this new car is a strong indication of the serious nature of the project, giving it a unique design language (similar to the Prius family). The car is also an original model in that it doesn’t ride on an obvious donor platform. Details are still scarce but Toyota has said the car is roughly 185-inches, which for a size comparison is 4-inches shorter than the current Camry. That said, it’s significantly more substantial a vehicle than the Prius.
Impressively, Toyota claims an emissions free driving range of 430 miles in the FCV-R Concept. We expect to see further renditions of this concept over the next few years, becoming increasingly closer to production at each stage.