1. Print Friendly
  2. Commentary Archive
  3. Bio

Hydrogen is Now: Toyota Firing Bullets To Disprove Musk

Thursday January 30, 2014 10:59

Toyota has left no doubt about its commitment to fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) as the next evolutionary step in emission-free driving.

The new Toyota FCV concept model
Toyota astonished the public at two major industry events last week, North American International Auto Show in, Detroit, and the Automotive News World Congress, by presenting a technology that looks fully developed and ready to go.

At the show, Toyota displayed not only its new hydrogen powered sedan but also its hydrogen tank along with test results demonstrating it was able to withstand impacts from small caliber bullets, .50 caliber rounds barely made a dent.

However, Toyota is not just depending on the durability of its technology.

“The demand for environmental sustainability is achieving critical mass” said Bob Carter, Toyota’s vice-president and general manager of Toyota Sales USA during his presentation at the ANWC.

Surprisingly, Carter sees a shift in buyer’s ethnicity as the force to promote this trend claiming that “we’re already the most popular automotive brand among Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans and African Americans” who are, based on information from the U.S. Census Bureau he presented, on a trajectory to representing the majority of Americans by 2050. With that, he said comes a shift to younger car buyers with more conscience of sustainability.

Although Toyota stole the show highlighting its new technology, Honda probably deserves credit for having the cooler prototype.

The new Honda FCEV concept model

Taking a direct stab at Elon Musk and his recent jibe at FCEVs, Carter added: “Personally, I don’t care what Elon, Carlos (Carlos Goshn of Nissan) or Jonathan (Jonathan Browning of Volkswagen) say about fuel cells. If they want to “plug in and tune out” other technologies, that’s fine.”

So the glove has been thrown down, and the challenge has been accepted. We are likely to see competing technologies in the market starting this year with a wider variety of battery electric and hybrid vehicles, followed by hydrogen cars in 2015.

Each of them, as you may remember, will feature a different profile of technology metals employed, but all of them will push the market more towards electronics and technology. (A full article comparing metal usage by different technologies is in preparation.)

For a full transcript of Carter’s speech and more Toyota pictures head over to Autoblog Green.

Pictures: courtesy of my friend and EV enthusiast Tom Moloughney; gas tank picture: Toyota.

By Bodo Albrecht



Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in precious metal products, commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.
kitco news

Precious Metal Charts

Click to see this Precious Metal chart
  1. 24h
  2. 30D
  3. 60D
  4. 6M
  5. 1Y

Interactive Chart