Tokyo, July 2014: Already in the upcoming spring, the car manufacturer Toyota wants to sell its fuel cell-car and start exporting to USA and Europe in the summer. The starting price is cheaper than expected at around € 60,000. With extensive subsidies and tax breaks, the Japanese government wants to ensure that the market shares are backed up early and its auto industry stays highly competitive. In parallel, the current high production costs shall be significantly reduced by 2025, as well as the infrastructure being further defined.
Although Asia is bringing the first hydrogen to the market, competition never sleeps. Daimler is at the technical development front under the German manufacturers, and wants to introduce Mercedes-models to the market already in 2017. Simultaneously, The Stuttgarters are collaborating with Nissan-Renault and Ford. Together, their developers have covered more than 10 million test kilometers. BMW also wants to go with a fuel cell car in series no later than 2020. VW, however, is skeptical because of the high manufacturing costs.
Especially for the expansion of gas stations, cooperation from different vendors is needed to implement a tight network of pumps. In this respect, Toyotas early engagement does not come inconvenient to expand this network. The challenge wants to face Daimler with partners such as Shell and Linde. A similar problem exists also in battery-powered automobiles, since charging columns would need to be installed in large numbers. Stellbrink IP already reported this on June 10 in correlation with the plugs of the family business Mennekes for electric cars and on 13 June, when the electric car maker Tesla released its patents.
According to DEKRA, the security in relation with the highly flammable hydrogen does not appear very alarming, since a series of tests showed that fuel cell cars are no more dangerous than gasoline cars.