Toyota is preparing for increasing sales of their fuel-cell electric vehicles and has announced plans to expand their component factory in Japan.
Specifically, the vehicle manufacturer is planning to expand the serial production of their fuel cell stacks in a new building close to their factory in Honsha. Furthermore, the factory in Shimoyama will receive a new production line to manufacture high pressure hydrogen tanks.
The construction of the new hydrogen tank production line is starting in the next few days, while the new production building for the fuel cell stacks is already complete, and is now waiting to receive its interior components. Further details will be released at a later point in time by Toyota. Operations are planned to begin in 2020, as Toyota expects a major public interest boost in fuel-cell EVs by then. The Japanese company expects interest to increase ten-fold, from the current 3,000 units sold per year, to around 30,000.
From 2013 to 2017 only 6,475 FCEVs were sold worldwide. The front runners in the fuel cell area are Toyota with 76% of the market, followed by Honda (13%) and Hyundai (11%). In an international comparison, the most FCEVs were sold in the USA, particularly in California, which makes up 53% of sales. The second largest market is Japan, with 38%, followed by Europe with 9%.
The absolute sales figures are currently very low. Toyota is one of the driving figures attempting to change this. In December, the company signed an agreement with Honda, Nissan and eight other companies to start a joint venture. Within four years, the cooperation plans to establish 80 new hydrogen fuel stations in Japan. At the end of March, Toyota also presented the serial version of their fuel cell bus Sora, which they initially presented at the Tokyo Motor Show. The hydrogen-powered bus is the first of its kind to receive official licensing and has been sold in Japan since.
The company themselves are also planning to produce their vehicles in a carbon-neutral way in future. In this vein, the manufacturer installed a hydrogen fuel station and 20 fuel-cell forklifts at their Motomachi factory.
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