We Spot Toyota’s Fuel Cell Prototype on the Street

By Steve Laser

You never know what you’re going to see in traffic. There we were, stopped at a light when a mysterious car pulled up alongside. We knew immediately what it was: A prototype for Toyota’s upcoming fuel cell car wearing a Michigan Manufacturer license plate with all the identifying marks of the car’s brand and logos covered with black tape. Quicker than you can say, “Where’s my iPhone?” we snapped a photo before the light turned green and it sped away.

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Photo ©2014 CarNichiWa

Actually, it’s not a secret. Toyota recently revealed the look of its production version zero-emission hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV) shown below. The auto maker said it will go on sale in California during summer 2015.

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Photo credit: Toyota Global Newsroom

Toyota says that the unnamed FCV will have a driving range of approximately 300 miles on a single fill-up of hydrogen, which reportedly takes less than five minutes. That is – once you locate a hydrogen refueling station.

To take steps to help ensure that owners of FCVs can fill up (even if they drive a competitive brand vehicle) the company also announced that it had entered into a financial relationship with FirstElement Fuels to support long-term operation of 19 new hydrogen refueling stations in California.

Styling has been toned down a bit from the FCV concept that debuted at last fall’s Tokyo Motor Show. Yet the massive lower air intakes and bulging rear fenders that evoke images of waves maintain the mantra that water is the only thing that comes out of the tailpipe.

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Photo of FCV reveal at Tokyo Motor Show by Steve Laser. ©2014 CarNichiWa

While we didn’t get a good look inside the cabin of the prototype we spotted in traffic, it appears to have a futuristic styled dash that goes beyond the design used in the Prius.

Toyota has already started promoting the FCV. Here’s a spot posted on Toyota USA’s YouTube channel on September 17.

Video credit: Toyota USA

Stay tuned to CarNichiWa for more news about Toyota’s upcoming FCV including pricing and availability.

Story and photos (as noted) ©2014 CarNichiWa

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