Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) plans to introduce a fuel-cell car by 2015, says vice president Masatami Takimoto.
He made the statement at a shareholder's meeting, but did not give more details. Toyota, like other global car companies, has been struggling in the economic downturn. The company in 2008 posted its first annual net loss in nearly 70 years and halted construction on a new plant in Mississippi that was to build Pruis hybrids.
The company continues to see hybrids as a major strength, according to new company president Akio Toyoda.
Toyota began limited sales of a fuel-cell hybrid in 2002 in Japan and the U.S., expanding on technology used in the Prius hybrid.
Honda began leasing a small number of fuel cell vehicles in California in 2008.
Last week Britain-based Riversimple unveiled a prototype two-seater that employs a fuel cell made by China's Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies.
The U.S. Department of Energy recently cut funding for hydrogen power research in its latest budget, reflecting the belief by some experts that fuel cell cars running on hydrogen are not a viable solution for zero-emissions transportation.