Japan, US and Europe to get Toyota's first hydrogen fuel-cell car

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Toyota's fuel-cell vehicle (FCV) will be released in Japan, US and Europe next year but it won't be cheap, setting buyers back around $70,000.

The high price tag means Toyota's futuristic car will be a direct competitor for the all-electric Tesla Model S, which also is priced at around $70,000.

Cnet reports that Toyota will first release the vehicle in their native Japan sometime before next April before a US and European rollout in the summer. Fuel-cell cars are becoming a popular project amongst the Japanese government, and they are supposedly planning on introducing tax breaks for those wanting to buy alternative energy vehicles.

Unlike Tesla, Toyota believes that the future of cars is not pure battery powered, but a form of hybrid. As with everything that runs on a battery, it will run out eventually unless  permanently plugged into a power outlet.

This obviously isn't possible with electric cars such as the Tesla Model S. That car will get you 265 miles before it needs recharging, which is impressive, but not really suitable for all-day driving.

Fuel-cell cars on the other hand are better suited to long-range driving according to the CEO of Toyota in North America, who recently told Automotive News that battery-electric vehicles are viable only for short distances whereas hybrid cars like the ones powered by hydrogen fuel-cells, will get you much further.

Hydrogen fuel-cell powered vehicles are very environmentally friendly as they release only water vapor, meaning less carbon-dioxide will pour out into the air that we breathe. The engine inside the Toyota will combine hydrogen and air in a chemical reaction that will create electricity and thus power the vehicle forward.

A hurdle that hydrogen powered cars will face though is the need for more refueling station to be built, the US and Japan have plans to build many more in the coming years, but the UK is lagging behind slightly with 11 functioning stationing and only 9 more in the planning stage.