Over the next three years, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. and Toyota Motor Manufacturing and Engineering North America, Inc. will place more than 100 Toyota Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle – Advanced (FCHV-adv) vehicles with universities, private companies and government agencies in both California and New York as part of a nationwide demonstration program. During this period, additional regions and partners will be added as new hydrogen stations come online.
In December 2002, Toyota began limited testing of fuel cell vehicles in the U.S. and Japan. Toyota enlisted the University of California, Irvine, University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, Davis to test different aspects of consumer acceptance and market dynamics of fuel cell vehicles. FCHV also are placed with the California Fuel Cell Partnership, a public-private partnership organization to promote the adoption of hydrogen vehicles in California.
Toyota's hydrogen fuel cell technology has advanced at an impressive pace since the 2002 introduction of the first generation FCHV. Toyota engineers have continued to improve the vehicle range, durability and efficiency through advances in the fuel cell stack and the high-pressure hydrogen storage system, while achieving significant cost reductions in materials and manufacturing. The latest FCHV iteration, the FCHV-adv introduced in 2008, boasts an estimated range increase of more than 150% over the first generation FCHV.
Toyota's demonstration program expansion, with the addition of the FCHV-adv vehicles, will create one of the largest fleets of active fuel cell vehicles in the country with the primary goal of stimulating essential hydrogen infrastructure development. The demonstration program also will serve to demonstrate fuel cell technologies reliability and performance prior to Toyota's 2015 market introduction.