NAGOYA – Toyota Motor Corp. is planning to provide the major components of fuel cell vehicles to other automakers to promote their entry into the market, company officials said.
Since the huge cost of developing the next-generation cars will be difficult for midsize companies to bear, Toyota is considering supplying such parts as fuel cells, high-pressure hydrogen tanks and motors to accelerate the spread of FCVs.
Once production and sales of FCVs get solidly under way and their production capacity is readied, Toyota plans to supply the parts to other car manufacturers, the officials said.
If more companies enter the market, it will be easier for the government and the energy industry to develop the needed infrastructure to support them, including hydrogen charging stations, experts said.
FCVs are powered by electricity generated through a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen that produces only water and no carbon dioxide. Toyota said last week it will launch a sedan-style FCV in Japan by next March at a retail price of around ¥7 million.
If production of FCVs rises with its parts supply operations, Toyota could slash manufacturing costs and lower the price of the vehicle later.
“For cutting costs, technological innovation is important but mass production is effective,” said a Toyota executive.
Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., with which Toyota has formed a capital alliance, is seen as another automaker that could potentially supplying such parts. Since Toyota makes most of its major FCV parts, it would be difficult for other carmakers to purchase parts to be used in the vehicle.