Toyota is a firm believer in fuel cell cars and is one of the very few car makers that currently offer such a car, the Mirai, right now.
As with every ground breaking technology however, the Mirai isn’t exactly cheap nor widely available to the masses. In fact, in the U.S. it is available only in California for a rather steep $58,500.
Toyota however predicts that the price of fuel cell vehicles will drop significantly over the coming years, matching that of hybrids in a decade.
“By the third generation we fully expect fuel cell costs to be comparable with hybrids,” Toyota’s European head of sales and marketing, Matt Harrison, told AutoNews. “We believe fuel cell vehicles have a huge potential.”
The Mirai is the company’s first-gen FCEV, with the second-gen model expected to be reach the market in the near future. Toyota plans to offer the third-gen model within a decade.
Another driver for Toyota to reach its FCEV-related goals is the increasingly tougher emission targets, which force automakers to progressively reduce the CO2 levels from their new-car fleets.
“There is no perfect technology to meet this task to succeed,” Harrison added. “We are preparing various alternatives and will let our customers decide which form of electrification suits them.”
Toyota is expected to hit the European Union’s CO2 target for 2020 thanks to its hybrid models and is the car maker with the lowest average CO2 of any mainstream player, according to JATO.
While Harrison didn’t say how they are planning to reduce the price of their FCVs, German supplier Robert Bosch said that the technology will eventually become cheaper due to the reduced use of platinum, with future fuel cells set to use the same amount of platinum as a current diesel catalytic convertor.