Toyota to begin making hydrogen cars

Automaker also looking into hover car technology

Hydrogen-powered vehicles will be in Toyota showrooms across America by the end of this year, slightly ahead of schedule.

The world’s top-selling car maker will begin producing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in mid-December, according to The Japan Times.

The car, currently named the Toyota Fuel Cell Vehicle, will cost about $78,000 at first, but pricing will drop to between $29,000 to $50,000 in the 2020s, according to the report. The next-generation vehicle was originally slated to be commercially available in 2015.

Hydrogen vehicles run on a fuel cell that mixes hydrogen with oxygen, powering the car’s electric motor, according to Toyota’s website. The vehicle emits water vapor and is expected to have an Environmental Protection Agency driving range of approximately 300 miles.

That number is more than three times the range of current electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Spark EV, which goes 82 miles on a full charge, according to EPA estimates.

Toyota claims the FCV will have “a refueling time as low as three minutes, which is roughly the same as a gasoline vehicle.”

Hydrogen refueling stations will be most commonly found in California, as the state plans on having 50 stations by the end of 2016, according to a study by the automaker.

Hydrogen fuel cells may not be the most exciting new technology Toyota is working on though, as a company spokesperson hinted at hover cars this week.

Hiroyoshi Yoshiki, with Toyota’s technical administration group, announced the automaker is studying technology that will allow cars to hover “a little bit away” from the road to minimize friction. There have been no announcements regarding the future production of the so-called hover car.

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