At CES 2014, the first thing that caught attention was the concept car from Toyota with its futuristic looks. With an actual road testing model, it shared the limelight and centre stage at this mega event. A little history about electric cars was shared by Senior, Vice President Bob Carter thereby painting a rosy picture about the future. A lot of persistence and focus is needed for making the dream of electric transportation a reality. People were not very optimistic about gas being replaced by hydrogen. The experiments for making this dream a reality are going on for 20 years. Prius was considered as a science project. Persistence is required when anything needs to be changed.
Toyota Concept Car
Toyota worked persistently for wheels that could have been turned by electricity. In comparison to gas, fuel cell has proved to be more efficient causing lesser emissions. To make this dream a reality, there are still two challenges that need to be overcome. These two challenges are infrastructure for refuelling and a cost effective price. Car’s appearance is not just to make a style statement but also for allowing uptake of air flow for aerodynamics and system cooling. The concept car from Toyota is in flashy blue color. Another car which was decorated in an odd manner was named as a “mock up”. In a regular car, this is an engineering car which has been stuffed just like Frankenstein. For the purpose of road testing, it was very important that the car be tested in severe conditions. The car was tested in Canada at minus 30 degree centigrade, Death Valley, San Francisco and various other places. The car was tested in tough testing conditions.
Laboratory tests were also expected to be passed by this car besides highway tests and crash tests. For this purpose, the company invented several tools, guts were built and an exotic powertrain was tested. With this, the company is poised to become world leader in hybrid electronics. Like Lexus hybrid, it is quiet and in just ten seconds it can gain speed from 0 to 60 hitting 100 miles per hour. Delivery cost is equal to design, materials and manufacturing. Reduction of cost for fuel cell technology is astounding.
The basic problem that is being seen hampering its acceptance is infrastructural issues. More than the car genius, driver’s experience matters in the success of a car. For establishing fuelling stations, manufacturers are working hard. The idea is to ensure a viable experience. Likely locations for setting up of fuelling stations are being determined. Presently, California has ten refuelling stations. Funding of 100 new stations has been done.
Locations are the major focus when looking for a proper place for establishing refuelling station. Launch of an electric car will become successful only when it can be refuelled conveniently. As per Toyota, the fueling station for this electric car must be within 6 kms of home or place of work of the driver. 68 prospective sites for fuelling stations have been marked where new fuelling stations will be coming up.