Hydrogen Cars Will Soon Cost the Same as EVs, Toyota Says

Sam McEachern
by Sam McEachern

The cost of a hydrogen-powered vehicle will be roughly on par with that of an electric or hybrid vehicle by 2025, Toyota believes.

The Japanese automaker has been an outspoken proponent of hydrogen-powered passenger and commercial vehicles. It currently sells the hydrogen-powered Mirai in the US at price of $57,400 – but eats a cost of up to $100,000 on each one sold. However when Toyota rolls out its second-generation of fuel cell tech, the cost of buying, owning and operating a fuel cell vehicle will be on par with EVs and hybrids, it claims.

“In the early 2020s we will launch the next generation hydrogen fuel stack technology, and that will provide a substantial move forward,” Naomichi Hata, head of new business planning at Toyota, told Autocar in a recent interview. “Today production of the Mirai is limited to 3000 cars a year, but by 2025 we expect that figure to be ten times higher.”

“As a result of these gains we expect – in Japan at least – the same car type to cost the same price whether it is a hybrid or powered by hydrogen.”

SEE ALSO: Toyota has no Plans of Sharing its Game-Changing EV Batteries

Hydrogen may be a feasible alternative to EVs and fossil fuels in Japan, but unfortunately, that’s not the case in the US. The only state where you can really get around on hydrogen is California, which has a piddling total of 25 hydrogen fueling stations. Almost all of those are in the Bay Area and the Los Angeles Metro region, so if you’re not a so-called ‘urbanite’ you’re fuel cell vehicle will also be of little use.

For now, hydrogen faces a fueling infrastructure problem. If automakers can sell consumers on the idea and hydrogen fuel stations become more widespread, many of us may be buzzing along in hydrogen-powered passenger cars by 2025. That would solve the two biggest issues with EVs: charge time and range. Just don’t style our hydrogen cars after the Fine Comfort Ride concept, okay Toyota?

[Source: Autocar]

Discuss this story on our Toyota forum.

Sam McEachern
Sam McEachern

Sam McEachern holds a diploma in journalism from St. Clair College in Windsor, Ontario, and has been covering the automotive industry for over 5 years. He conducts reviews and writes AutoGuide's news content. He's a die-hard motorsports fan with a passion for performance cars of all sorts.

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  • Doug Dumitru Doug Dumitru on Oct 27, 2017

    Current "retail" station count in California is 31 (not 25) plus another three for fleets, plus a couple more for research use. Coverage is decent from San Diego to Reno. This is probably 10M people who have two or more stations within 10 miles. The issue now is not the location of the stations, but as more cars get on the road, the capacity of some of the busy ones needs to improve. The next 16 are also announced and the time to build is getting shorter. 8 of the next 16 are from Shell.

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    • Doug Dumitru Doug Dumitru on Oct 29, 2017

      My last drive from OC to San Jose had a five minute stop at Harris Ranch. I never went more than 2 miles out of my way to fuel up. H2 is convenient for me. More convenient than a charging a BEV would be. Your L2 charger would have been 90 minutes or more for the range I needed. Now give me a FC/BEV plug-in hybrid, and that would be ideal. My FCV has lower GEG emissions than a BEV, unless your BEV is charged off-grid. Both FCV and BEV are heavily subsidized, both from the car company and the government. In my case, my FCV was a far better deal. My total cost for 36K miles is $0.35/mile including everything except registration and insurance. Above 36K miles, the per-mile cost actually goes down. Both FCV and BEV have their place. I really don't understand the hostility of BEV proponents toward fuel cells. If either BEVs or FCVs "become more common", the infrastructure is just not there. If you think the grid can handle 40% BEVs on the road, you need to do some reading. If you live in CA, you have probably driven by an H2 station and did not even notice it. It is not one or the other. My comment was simply correcting some numbers that were out of date. Now I would not like to own "only" a FCV with the current infrastructure. Then again, I would not like to own "only" a BEV for the same reasons.

  • Chris Muir Chris Muir on Oct 29, 2017

    Even if Toyota does manage to get a HFCV price competitive to BEVs (unlikely) and somehow match the performance of BEVs (even more unlikely) they will still be severely hobbled by the lack of refueling facilities and the high price of hydrogen fuel. Hydrogen has a far higher per-mile fuel cost than driving electric, and always will.