(Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp said it has slashed the cost of the fuel cell system in its next hydrogen-powered car by almost $1 million, putting it on course to launch a mid-sized sedan in 2015 with a price ticket below $100,000.
The world’s best-selling auto manufacturer and maker of the Prius gas-electric hybrid car says the fuel cell system will cost about 5 million yen ($51,000) compared with prototype costs of over $1 million.
The company is betting on fuel cell electric cars ahead of battery EVs, with Hybrids bridging the gap as fuel cell vehicle costs come down and the hydrogen fuelling infrastructure is rolled out.
“We aim to sell tens of thousands of fuel cell vehicles a year by sometime in the 2020s,” Managing Officer Satoshi Ogiso told reporters earlier this week in Tokyo where Toyota showed off its advanced technologies.
Toyota engineer Hitoshi Nomasa said the company had cut its use of platinum, which sells on world markets around $1,380 an ounce (28 grams), from around 100 grams in the fuel cell of its current hydrogen-powered SUV model to around 30 grams.
The figure would come down more with improvements in platinum coating technology, Nomasa told Reuters.
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