Motor Companies Compete to Bring FCEVs to the Road

Monday, 16 December 2013

A string of exciting new unveilings at this year's Tokyo and LA motor shows have thrust environmentally-friendly technology back into the spotlight, as manufacturers race to dominate the green car industry.

Electric vehicles (EVs) have been all over the news this year, as high profile manufacturers like BMW started working to develop the tech and governments embraced the infrastructure. However, a particular branch of electric vehicles driven by hydrogen fuel cells (FCVs) seemed to have gone quiet - until now.

At the Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota sought to cement their status as a top green fuel champion with the unveiling of their four-seater FCV, which boasts an impressive range of 500km. Before you eagerly start searching for some appropriate car insurance, note that there's a bit of a wait to get hold of these virtuous vehicles. The FCV was only displayed as a concept car, although the firm have said that it's very close to going into production and is expected to go on sale in Japan in 2015, and in the US and Europe a year later.

Unwilling to let their rivals steal all the limelight, Honda have unveiled their FCEV hydrogen fuel cell concept at the Los Angeles Motor show. Their model boasts five seats, a 300-mile range and, again, a launch date of 2015. Quietly beating both giants, however, are Hyundai, whose Tucson small SUV will be available in the USA next year.

Despite these exciting landmarks, it might take a while for the world to catch on, thanks to a lack of hydrogen filling stations. This year has seen plenty of news about the roll out of charge points for EVs, but there has been a stony silence when it comes to hydrogen. Although the UK is planning to build more, with most centres concentrated around London and the South this earth-friendly fuel is hardly accessible to all.

Still, we can't help but hope they manage to get it right. A car that expels water as its only by-product is a miracle-mobile if ever there was one.

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