Amongst the incremental improvements seen at CES, Toyota has announced its notable and progressive intention to begin selling hydrogen powered cars starting next year. Roll-out will begin in California initially and will continue around the world, it has confirmed.
The Toyota Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV) runs on hydrogen that, combined with oxygen, creates a chemical reaction from which electricity can be harnessed. The only by-product of this process is water, minimizing the environmental impact of using the car.
The announcement means that FCVs will be available to consumers less than 20 years after Toyota developed its first Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) in 1996, as part of its research into vehicles powered by alternative energy. The company sold its first Prius in Japan the following year and to-date estimates a reduction in CO2 emissions of 34 million tons (30.8 million tonnes) as a result of subsequent sales.
The FCV will use the Hybrid Synergy Drive technology that is used in the Prius, with a hydrogen fuel cell in place of the gas engine. Toyota anticipates that its FCVs will have a range of 300 miles (483 km) and that refueling will take as little as three minutes.
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