Toyota Looks to Fuel Cells as the Future of Automobiles

By | May 22, 2014
With CAFÉ regulations looming overhead, automakers are turning more and more to alternative fuel sources. While Tesla and other automakers have moved to extend the range of their electric vehicles, Toyota will be looking towards fuel cells as the future of its vehicles. Toyota has cited cost and range as the reasons to use fuel cell technology in its models, as battery electric vehicles are only viable in "a select way, in short range vehicles that take you that extra mile, from the office to the train, or home to the train," said Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota's North American region, in a recent interview. To help with building fuel cell infrastructure in California, Toyota has given a $7 million arms-length loan to FirstElement Fuel Inc. To meet the needs of 10,000 California drivers using fuel cell vehicles, only 68 refueling stations would be needed, and by the end of 2016, 50 of those 68 will be up and running.
"My hope is that other automakers will see our investment and will invest as well, so hopefully we can accelerate to 70 [stations] before 2018. Unlike hybrids when we were on our won, all the major players will be out there with us in fuel cells," continued Lentz. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)