Electric vehicles are featuring increasingly in the motoring media, at motor shows and on the roads, particularly in Europe.
Cities such as Paris, Madrid and Athens have agreed to ban diesel-powered vehicles by 2025 in an effort to reduce air pollution and Volvo announced recently that from 2019, all of the cars it launches will feature an electric motor. Although these won’t be fully electric, the shift towards hybrid vehicles and then fully electric vehicles is happening rapidly.
Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) plans to electrify its entire vehicle lineup by 2020, Ford has set up ‘Team Edison’ dedicated to the development of all-electric cars and the Renault, Nissan, Mitsubishi alliance plans to release 12 all-electric models by 2022.
General Motors, Volkswagen and Toyota are also investing in this area, however Toyota has not put all its eggs in one basket and other carmakers, such as Honda, Hyundai, Kia, and Audi are following the Japenese brand’s lead with developments in hybrid, hydrogen and EV technologies.
In January this year, a group of 13 companies led by Daimler, BMW, and Toyota pledged to invest more than $10 billion during the next five years into the development of infrastructure and also technology advancements of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.
While speaking at the Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota offials said that hydrogen fuel technologies are set to get much cheaper to produce and will prove more efficient. The brand also believes that sales of hydrogen vehicles will rise sharply, despite the growth of the electric vehicle market.
In an interview with Autocar, general manager of new business planning for Toyota, Naomichi Hata siad. “In the early 2020s we will launch the next generation hydrogen fuel stack technology, and that will provide a substantial move forward.”
It seems like eToyota believes hydrogen-powered vehicles could become as affordable as hybrids by 2025.
“As a result of these gains we expect – in Japan at least – the same car type to cost the same price whether it is a hybrid or powered by hydrogen,” Hata said.