Toyota is on track to sell an “affordable” mid-sized hydrogen-fuel-cell vehicle, saying it has cut the cost of manufacturing these cars by 90 percent, although another 50 percent cut is needed in the upcoming years, reports Wired.com. The automaker could sell its first hydrogen vehicle for $50,000 by 2015.
Currently, the price tag for fuel-cell cars are around six or seven figures, which is the main reason why Honda, General Motors and others lease or loan what few cars they have instead of selling them, according to the article.
Another obstacle is the lack of a fueling infrastructure, reports LA News Monitor.
Toyota has cut costs by reducing the amount of platinum it uses by one-third and by reducing the cost of the polymer-electrolyte membrane used in the cell. Both Toyota and GM plan to cut their use of platinum from about 30 grams to 10 grams. Ramping up to large-scale production is also expected to further reduce costs.
Daimler and Hyundai also expect to have hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on the road by 2015 in addition to Toyota, Honda and General Motors.
A report from Pike Research projects that fuel cell light vehicles will be commercially launched in 2014 in most regions of the world, and their sales should reach almost 670,000 vehicles per year by 2020.
Meanwhile, corporations like UPS are adding hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles to their corporate fleets.