LAS VEGAS—It’s not surprising that a Toyota announcer introduced the car at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas as “the 2030 FCV Plus.” The hydrogen-powered concept is certainly futuristic, even though it showcases technology that could be on cars soon.
Introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show last fall, the FCV Plus, with electric motors at all four wheels, makes statements both with its bold styling and its functionality. The car can flow power to the grid, charge battery electric cars, and even help your house through a blackout. Running on hydrogen stored outside the vehicle, it can be a reliable electricity generator. “This is a car that can integrate with its environment,” said Toyota spokeswoman Jana Hartline.
Sitting next to FCV Plus in Las Vegas was another Toyota concept car, FV2, which could presumably share a garage with the fuel-cell car—and get charged by it. The pod-like commuter car has no steering wheel; the driver moves it by shifting his or her body weight.
According to Craig Scott, national manager for advanced technology vehicles, “The idea with the FCV Plus is to illustrate Toyota’s thinking on the hydrogen energy economy. Hydrogen can be an energy carrier not just for cars, but for homes and commercial buildings through distributed generation.”
The fuel-cell stack is between the front wheels, and the tank behind the rear seats. The layout enables dramatic styling, and ample interior room for four passengers. Much of the upper body is glass, with striking side spears along the front doors that follow the car’s upswept crouching stance. The rear wheels sit outboard on skirted pods.
A mesh tube that runs around the rear cabin isn’t modern art; it’s a structural frame that could be 3D printed.
The FCV Plus isn’t going into production, but Toyota definitely plans to expand its hydrogen lineup. The company has already shown a Lexus LF-FC concept (a preview of the new LS) that runs on hydrogen. “It’s reasonable to assume we will have other fuel-cell cars,” Scott said.