Toyota is looking to build on the eco-friendly reputation it has earned from the Prius with a new sedan set to arrive in 2015. Instead of following Tesla down the all-electric path, the world’s largest automaker will rely on hydrogen fuel cell technology to power the as-yet-unnamed four-door vehicle.
The Japanese company’s car was first revealed as a concept late last year. The current iteration revealed today looks very similar to that concept with only a few small cosmetic changes (the addition of side mirrors is a plus).
The Japanese company claims the car will feature a range of 435 miles with a refueling time of around three minutes, figures that highlight the benefits of fuel cell technology over all-electric solutions. Other specifications haven’t been finalized, however.
The sedan will debut in Japan next April priced around seven million yen (roughly $70,000) before heading to Europe and the US in the summer of 2015. The pricing puts the vehicle in line with Tesla’s Model S which will no doubt be its biggest competitor in the alternative energy vehicle market.
Pricing aside, Toyota’s biggest challenge will be building out the necessary infrastructure to support refueling. As Tesla has demonstrated, however, building a nationwide refueling network to facilitate a cross-country drive is indeed possible and can be done in a relatively short amount of time.
Whether or not Toyota offers free refueling for life, however, remains to be seen.