Toyota still plans on making "tens of thousands" of hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) annually by the 2020s, Bloomberg News reports, citing Didier Leroy, the automaker's chief of European operations.
Didier, speaking at the Geneva Motor Show last week, said Toyota is cutting the production costs associated with FCEVs, according to the wire service. The Japanese automaker is also counting on a broader network of hydrogen fueling stations, which currently number fewer than 60 in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Toyota, which plans to start selling FCEVs in the U.S. in 2015, said late last year that the production cost of a fuel-cell vehicle would be about $140,000 if it went on sale now, but that the cost should drop to about $50,000 three years from now.
In late January, Toyota started putting its FCHV-adv fuel-cell vehicles into service at Japan's Narita International Airport, and was hoping that testing of such vehicles would verify the current estimated range of 431 miles.
Automakers are looking at fuel-cell vehicles as a possible solution to environmental concerns because FCEVs can provide a similar single-tank range as a conventional vehicle without the emissions, but FCEV development has been cost prohibitive. Green-technology research firm Pike Research estimated last fall that cumulative FCEV sales will surpass 1 million units and will generate $16.9 billion in annual revenue by the end of the decade. That's down from Pike's prior forecast of $28.9 billion in sales on 2.8 million units.