Toyota Could Lose $100K On Every FCV

2014 Toyota FCV 1 photo
Photo: autoevolution
The move towards using hydrogen fuel cell cars will be tough, very though. That’s mostly because there is no such infrastructure to sustain these vehicles, but also because the technology is still young and it costs a fortune to fit fuel cells into cars. Toyota, for example, could lose $100,000 on each FCV it will sell next year.
And it’s not us saying that, but former president of the European Parliament Pat Cox, who’s currently the high level coordinator of TransEuropean Network.

Every member of the EU will be required to develop national policy frameworks for the market development of the alternative fuels and required infrastructure. Everything is expected to be in order by 2025.

According to an Autoblog report, when it comes to the deployment of a hydrogen infrastructure, Cox said "the first-mover cost is not the first-mover advantage, but the first-mover disadvantage, and high risk."

High costs

The cost of each hydrogen fueling station costs about $1.3 million (€1.04 million), which will also mean that hydrogen won’t be quite cheap. It’s expected to cost about $50 (€40) to refill the tank of a fuel cell vehicle. Currently, there are 27 publicly available hydrogen fueling stations in Europe, following to be increased to 47 in 2015. Still, a lot less than the number of EV chargers.

But that won’t be the biggest problem as the vehicles’ costs will make up for it. For example, Cox estimates that the Toyota FCV (or Mirai) will cost between $50,000 (€40,000) and $100,000 (€80,000) more to build than the carmaker will sell it for. And in order to make these vehicle sell for good in Europe, the automaker has to be financially independent of the government incentives that will be offered at first to get things moving.

Switching to hydrogen surely sounds to come with a lot of advantages when comparing them to standard plug-in electric vehicles, but it will probably take quite some time to overcome the barriers of creating a new infrastructure for them and find new ways to keep their costs down.
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