According to a report from the Nikkei business daily, Japan’s largest company – Toyota – is mulling the introduction of a fuel cell car in the roster of its luxury marquee Lexus before 2020.
The Nikkei commented on the report, stating the automaker, which is already selling the fuel cell-powered Toyota Mirai in Japan and rolling it off in the US and soon in Europe, would most likely have the same technology inside the Lexus LS, which is the marquee’s flagship sedan. Toyota is also most likely to factor the market trends and constant cost-cutting efforts into the price of the fuel cell variant of the Lexus LS. The company, well known for being a promoter of green vehicles – and the world’s largest seller of hybrid vehicles – has decided to bet its future on fuel cell vehicles instead of battery-powered electrics. Fuel cells, which also deliver electricity by mixing hydrogen fuel and oxygen in the air and cause no polluting emissions as its internal combustion engine counterparts, have some inherent advantages over battery-powered brethren including higher range coupled with faster refueling.
Toyota recently announced plans to reduce carbon emissions from its vehicles by up to 90 percent by 2050 – and by the end of the decade it also aims to deliver 30,000 fuel cell autos annually. The automaker has a long road ahead though – it so far sold 350 Mirai fuel cell cars and will increase production to around 2,000 units next year and 3,000 the following. Hyundai is also selling its own mass-market fuel cell vehicle – a modified version of the Tucson sport utility vehicle – and Honda is expected to deliver its own fuel cell model later on.