Toyota are building new facilities in Japan to produce hydrogen fuel stacks and hydrogen tanks, expecting hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle production to increase 10-fold in the next two years.
Back in October, Toyota declared that hydrogen-powered cars will be as cheap as hybrids by the early 2020s as production levels grow and economies of scale have an impact. And now its putting it money where its mouth is.
Toyota is building new facilities for the production of hydrogen fuel cell stacks and hydrogen tanks in Japan to deliver what they will need for an expected 10-fold increase in FCEV production by 2020 – up from today’s around 3,000 cars a year to 30,000.
Production of fuel cell stacks will move from Toyota’s Honshu plant to a new eight-storey building close to where Toyota first started in business in 1938, and production of high-pressure hydrogen tanks will take place on a dedicated line at the Shimoyama plant, scaling up production considerably.
This isn’t a plan yet to have substance either, as construction at the Shimoyama plant is already underway, and the new building at Honshu (artist impression below) is already built and ready for fitting out.
Toyota are now convinced FCEVs are a mature technology, and are aiming to extend sales of the Mirai beyond the current 11 countries in which its sold (which already include the UK), and are aiming for Mirai sales of 10,000 a year in Japan alone by 2020, and has plans to get 100 hydrogen-powered buses on Japan’s roads by the time of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Will all this bring hydrogen-powered cars down to the same price as hybrids? We’ll see.