As car manufacturers shift to eco-friendly vehicles, Japan’s Honda and Toyota are thinking of introducing their fuel cell automobiles to the consumer market next year. Both firms are looking at producing around 1,000 units each of their eco-cars, which boast of longer ranges than the electric cars in the market, with zero emissions, annually after bringing them to the consumer market.
To gradually introduce the vehicle adoption rate, both firms are offering them on a for-lease basis, targeting businesses and municipalities as users. Prices will be initially set below 10 million yen (about US$98,000) to encourage potential buyers. Honda plans to present its 5-passenger sedan it is currently developing by November next year. The car will have a carbon fiber hydrogen tank that allows it to travel 500 kilometers on a single charge, twice the capability of an electric vehicle. The firm is looking at manufacturing 5,000 units in a period of five years at their Sayama plant in Saitama, with target markets in the U.S., Europe and Japan. As the company collaborated with General Motors in developing fuel cell mechanisms last year, they plan to incorporate the technologies in the car next year.
Toyota on the other hand, will produce their eco-car at their plant in the prefecture of Aichi, with the objective of producing such units past tens of thousands by 2020. In Toyota’s model, the hydrogen tanks have been divided into two and the power-generating system was made more compact and situated under the seats for more legroom and space. The company is now conducting road tests to check the reliability of their fuel cell vehicles. As both car firms have low production outlooks, capital spending may be limited and prices, specifically for Toyota vehicles, may be slashed by 3 to 5 million yen in 2020.
Comments Off on JDP Startup Corner: Pros & Cons of Working with a Partner in Japan