Toyota believes hydrogen could reach sale price parity with hybrid by 2025
31 October 2017
Japanese manufacturer Toyota has predicted that it will be able to sell hydrogen-powered vehicles for the same prices as an equivalent hybrid by 2025.
Currently, a mid-range Toyota Prius costs around €25,000, while the Mirai, a hydrogen car developed and launched by the manufacturer in 2015, is sold for around €74,000. However, this loses the company money once development costs are taken into account. Therefore, once costs are paid back, prices could drop to make it more economical for drivers to consider.
At the Tokyo Motor Show, the company’s officials revealed that they expect the next generation of hydrogen fuel technology to be substantially cheaper to produce, as well as more efficient. The expected growth of sales of the fuel across the automotive market will also help to bring prices down, in much the same way as they have with the electric vehicle (EV) market.
‘In the early 2020s we will launch the next generation hydrogen fuel stack technology, and that will provide a substantial move forward,’ said Naomichi Hata, general manager of new business planning for Toyota. ‘Today production of the Mirai is limited to 3,000 cars a year, but by 2025 we expect that figure to be ten times higher. As a result of these gains we expect the same car type to cost the same price whether it is a hybrid or powered by hydrogen.’
Toyota revealed its Fine Comfort Ride concept vehicle at the show. Toyota believes this car will travel for 620 miles on a single tank of fuel, thanks to a 6kg capacity tank.
Meanwhile, the company is also unlikely to introduce another car with a diesel engine, instead focusing on hybrid power and electric vehicles, which it is continuing to develop despite its apathy to the technology.
While the company will still offer diesel in existing models, the car maker suggests it is reaching a point where no all-new car will launch with the technology.
Speaking at the Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota’s executive vice-president Didier Leroy said that he believes the firm is unlikely to offer diesel power on any new models from now on: ‘My personal opinion - and this is my personal opinion - is no, we’ll not launch another diesel car,’ he told Auto Express.
‘Of course, you could look at the much longer term but for now, for example, the recently refreshed Yaris that we started a few months ago, you cannot buy it any more with a diesel. There are some diesels for fleet customers because they asked for them, but retail customers cannot buy it with a diesel. And that car is 25% of Toyota sales in Europe. We also took the view, a long time ago, that we would not sell the C-HR model with a diesel engine.’