PARIS — So, where are we exactly with the hydrogen car?
In contrast to electric vehicles to which, finally, leading European carmakers — Mercedes Benz and Volkswagen in particular — committed seriously at this year’s Paris Auto Show, hydrogen cars have yet to take the world by storm, or even by a light breeze.
They are virtually invisible again this year on the Paris show floor.
When asked about fuel cells, Ian Robertson, chief of sales and marketing at BMW Group, told the press, “Hydrogen is not off the table.” Although this is not exactly a ringing endorsement, he was at least implying that the automotive industry isn’t yet dropping hydrogen from its future plans.
FCV PLUS is not just a car, but also a power generator
The case in point is Toyota.
The Japanese carmaker brought to Paris a concept car called Toyota FCV (Fuel Cell Vehicle) PLUS. It uses compressed hydrogen as its fuel source. Unique to the FCV PLUS, however, is Toyota’s proposition that the FCV PLUS will be also used as a “generator” for homes, other cars and local power grids.
The FVC PLUS can make electricity for the driver’s home, for example. Or the FCV PLUS can share the electricity stored on board with other cars and local power grids, Toyota explained.
“In essence, we are suggesting that fuel cells can be used as a means to generate and provide electricity to power the society,” a Toyota spokesman based in Brussels told us.
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