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by David Zalstein

The production version of the Toyota FCV-R hydrogen fuel cell concept should cost less than US$100,000 when it launches in 2015, a top Toyota executive has said.

Industry journal Automotive News quotes Toyota US group vice president of strategic planning Chris Hostetter who says the price of a completed hydrogen fuel cell vehicle is now just five per cent of what it was when existing prototypes were being developed.

Speaking at the Fortune Brainstorm Green sustainability conference in California, Hostetter said that while in the past fuel cell prototypes would cost about US$1 million ($975,000) each to develop, vehicles now planned to reach the market in 2015 cost closer to US$50,000 ($49,000), translating to potential list prices under US$100,000 ($97,500).

Toyota FCV-R Concept - 2

Toyota’s fleet of production hydrogen fuel cell cars due to be sold in California and New York from 2015 is expected to be based on the Toyota FCV-R concept first seen at the 2011 Tokyo motor show.

An updated version of the Toyota FCV-R concept car is expected to be unveiled at this year’s 2013 Tokyo motor show in November.

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles promise a significantly greater range compared with electric vehicles, with water being the only by-product produced.