Toyota unveiled its first hydrogen fuel-cell sedan Wednesday, which is expected to be launched in the U.S. and Europe next summer.
The to-be-named sedan was first showcased at the Tokyo Motor Show last year, with Toyota giving the media and potential buyers a look at the final design of the car Wednesday. The car will be priced at seven million yen, or $68,664 in Japan, bringing it in the price range of Tesla's Model S, which starts at $69,000.
The sedan will have cruising range of 435 miles and will take three minutes to refuel. The car will only emit water vapor produced by the reaction of hydrogen and oxygen. In these respects the Toyota car beats Tesla's Model S and will potentially be serious competitor in the green car market.
In contrast, Model S range is 265 miles and take more than 9 hours to recharge on a 240-volt outlet. But Tesla does have an advantage in that it has already set up multiple supercharger stations across the country.
Toyota first introduced a hydrogen fuel cell car in 2002, when it launched the Toyota FCHV SUV and has been working on fuel cells for the last 20 years. The carmaker has been suggesting that it will launch a fuel cell car since January when it demonstrated two concept cars at the Consumer Electronics Show, including the car that was unveiled today.
Hyundai also debuted a fuel cell car in the U.S. earlier in the month. The car was given to California resident Timothy Bush, who is paying $499 a month to drive the car. In a recent development, Tesla CEO Elon Musk made public the company's patents in a bid to encourage car manufacturers to embrace clean technology.
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