Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., announced that it will begin a program in December that will help to establish a fuel-cell hybrid-electric vehicle (FCHV) community in the state of California, linking government, education and industry, and include partner-providers of hydrogen refueling infrastructure.
"The task of bringing practical fuel-cell powered vehicles to the mass market will require a considerable investment of time, resources, cooperation and patience," said Jim Press, TMS executive vice president and COO. "This program marks a significant first step in the right direction."
The program begins with the delivery of the first two Toyota FCHV hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles to the University of California, Irvine (UCI) and the University of California, Davis (UCD) at a press conference on Monday, Dec. 2, at the Barclay Theatre, adjacent the UCI campus. The vehicles will be leased to the universities for 30 months at a cost of approximately $10,000 per month.
The Toyota FCHV is based on Toyota's popular Highlander mid-size sport utility vehicle and represents advancement on the FCHV-4 hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle, which has undergone real-world testing over the last 16 months in California and Japan.
TMS' parent company, Toyota Motor Corporation, announced that it will initiate a lease program that will place four Toyota FCHVs with agencies of the Japan government on December 2.
At its Dec. 2, press conference, TMS will announce complete details of its fuel-cell community program including specific information on infrastructure providers and how the vehicles, as well as additional resources to be provided by Toyota, will contribute to on-going research, development and implementation.