Alexander Trowbridge has this report for CBS News:
When it comes to cars, Toyota thinks hydrogen fuel cells are one of the technologies of the future. And the company isn’t alone.
Offering the promise of a clean ride with long range, it’s a technology automakers are racing to perfect, and one they’re betting will catch on.
“We see fuel cells as the ultimate answer (down the road) to zero-emission vehicles,” Toyota spokesman Wade Hoyt told CBSNews.com. “By 2020, we’re going to have fuel cells as an important part of our portfolio.”
By 2015, Toyota plans to release a hydrogen fuel cell sedan to the general public, priced at $50,000.
Trowbridge reports on the Toyota prototype hydrogen fueled vehicle, called the Highlander, now in the testing phase:
In the meantime, it’s lent prototype hydrogen fuel cell Highlanders to research institutions and government agencies like the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, as part of a testing and demonstration program.
In these Highlanders, fuel cells produce electricity by mixing oxygen from the air with hydrogen gas stored on board in four high pressure tanks. The byproduct is mostly water, and so instead of the usual cloud, the tail pipe leaves small puddles.
Click here to watch the video of the Toyota Highlander in action.