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  • Toyota to launch fuel cell car next month

  • There will only be a few hundred, and they won't be cheap, but Toyota is about to take

  • its first small step into the unproven market for emissions-free, hydrogen-powered vehicles.

  • The world's largest automaker announced Tuesday that it will begin selling fuel cell cars

  • in Japan on Dec. 15 and in the U.S. and Europe in mid-2015. The sporty-looking, four-door

  • Toyota Mirai will retail for 6.7 million yen ($57,600) before taxes. Toyota Motor Corp

  • hopes to sell 400 in Japan and 300 in the rest of the world in the first year.

  • Fuel cell vehicles run on compressed hydrogen gas, which in the Mirai's case is stored in

  • two tanks mounted underneath the vehicle. They emit no exhaust, though fossil fuels

  • are used in the production of hydrogen and to pressurize it. Both Honda and Hyundai are

  • also experimenting with limited sales and leases of fuel cell cars.

  • Besides the relatively high cost, buyers will have to contend with finding fuel. Only a

  • few dozen hydrogen filling stations have been built worldwide, though governments are subsidizing

  • the construction of more.

  • It's an uncertain future that depends both on whether makers can bring down the price,

  • and a wide-enough network of filling stations is built. Yoshikazu Tanaka, deputy chief engineer

  • for Toyota's next generation vehicle development, said he expects it will take 10-20 years for

  • the Mirai to reach sales in the tens of thousands of vehicles a year.

  • Asked if it's a risk, he said yes, but Toyota views it as a challenge. Likening it to a

  • chicken and egg situation, he said if you say it's too risky and don't move forward

  • with production, the number of filling stations will never grow. Toyota faced a similar scenario

  • with its gasoline-electric hybrid, the Prius, which now sells in big numbers.

  • "It was a big challenge when we first introduced the Prius, or hybrid car, in 1997," he said

  • in an interview in Tokyo. "And it's an even bigger challenge this time because there is

  • no infrastructure, and we're trying to lead" the commercialization of fuel cell cars.

  • Hoping to offset the inconvenience of finding fuel, Toyota gave the car a futuristic look

  • inside and outMirai means future in Japaneseand made it peppy to try to attract buyers.

  • It accelerates particularly quickly from about 40 to 70 kilometers (25 to 45 miles) per hour,

  • Tanaka said.

  • The Japanese government also plans to offer a 2 million yen subsidy to purchasers of fuel

  • cell cars, reducing the effective price to 4.7 million yen.

  • Sales will be limited to the primarily urban areas that have fueling stations.

  • In Japan, with about 30 stations, that means the regions around Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya

  • cities in central and western Japan and the northern part of Kyushu island in the south.

  • A few stations have opened in California in the United States, and there are plans to

  • build some in the Northeast. Germany and the United Kingdom are among European countries

  • that have or plan to build them.

  • The first buyers are expected to be affluent people who want to reduce their carbon footprint

  • and governments and companies that want to go green.

  • The Mirai can travel 650 to 700 kilometers (400-435 miles) on its two tanks of hydrogen.

  • Hydrogen may be more expensive than gas initially, because there are so few customers but, over

  • time, Toyota expects it will be cheaper to run a car on hydrogen than with gas.

Toyota to launch fuel cell car next month


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豐田將於下月推出燃料電池汽車 (Toyota To Launch Fuel Cell Car Next Month)

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    songwen8778 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日