According to The Asahi Shimbun, Toyota Motor Corp. will start selling hydrogen-powered fuel-cell buses in early 2017, marking a first for Japan.
The fuel-cell bus is likely to be priced at about 100 million yen (US$962,000), which is about four to five times the cost of ordinary diesel engine-powered buses.
Toyota hopes more than 100 of the buses will be on the road--mainly in the Tokyo metropolitan area--by 2020, when Tokyo hosts the Summer Olympics and Paralympics.
Toyota's aim is to show off Japan’s eco-friendly vehicle technology at home and to the rest of the world.
Hino Motors Ltd., a Toyota subsidiary, will manufacture the vehicle using the same core parts that were used to build Toyota’s Mirai fuel-cell car that went on sale in 2014.
The 10 hydrogen tanks on the bus can be filled in about 10 minutes, allowing it to travel more than 200 kilometers.
Electricity is generated in fuel-cell vehicles through the chemical reaction between oxygen in the air and hydrogen.
The metropolitan government’s transportation bureau plans to initially run two fuel-cell buses. It will install large hydrogen fueling stations by the end of March.
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