Tuesday, November 18, 2014

No. 859: You can buy a Toyota’s fuel cell vehicle for about 5 million yen on December 15 (November 18, 2014)

Toyota's FCV Mirai
Toyota will put its fuel cell vehicle (FCV) on the Japanese market on December 15. It is priced at 7,236,000 yen, but you can buy one for about 5,200,000 yen because you can get a government subsidy. Named Mirai (the future), it can travel up to about 650 km with a tankful hydrogen. It takes only 3 minutes to fill the tank. In a sense, fuel cell vehicle can be dubbed as the ultimate eco-car as shown by the following table.

Fuel cell vehicle
Electric vehicle
Hybrid vehicle
Hydrogen and oxygen
Gasoline and oxygen
Hydrogen station
(About 40 stations are scheduled)
Charge station
(About 6,000 stations)
Gas station
(34,700 stations)
Time to fill it up
3 minutes
30 minutes (quick charge)
3 minutes
Cost to travel 1 km
10 yen
2 yen
5 yen
Travel distance
650 km
230 km
1,370 km
7,236,000 yen
2,872,800 yen
2,232,000 yen
What is discharged
Carbon dioxide

As the above table indicates, the problem with FCV is the number of stations to fill hydrogen. Toyota Tsusho, one of Toyota’s group companies, will establish a new company to operate mobile hydrogen stations in alliance with Iwatani and Taiyo Nippon Sanso. It takes 500-600 million yen to construct a fixed station, but the construction cost of a mobile station is about a half of this amount. In addition to subsidizing the construction cost, the government will soon formulate a system to make hydrogen available as low in price as gasoline in alliance with Toyota and Honda. Various companies involved in building FCVs have started to do business with Toyota. A consulting firm in Tokyo predicts that the Japanese domestic market of FCVs will be 400,000 units in 2030. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government plans to introduce FVCS for its official vehicles and metropolitan buses.

 Introduction to Toyota's Mirai (the future)

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