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Toyota Fuel Cell Car Adapter has Enough Horsepower to Fuel Your Home

Apr 18, 2014 03:51 PM EDT

Toyota Motor Corp. unveiled Monday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas plans for a fuel cell car adapter capable of powering homes, according to a Los Angeles Times report.

The fully-fueled four-seater, the automaker said, will be able to supply a home with a week's worth of energy once the adapter is hooked up to the home's electrical grid.

"Fuel cell electric vehicles will be in our future sooner than many people believe, and in much greater numbers than anyone expected," said Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota's U.S. sales arm.

Fuel cells use hydrogen to create the electricity that powers the car. Most automakers believe fuel cells are the gateway to producing zero-emission vehicles, but others are not convinced.

"Hydrogen is still a long way off from mainstream commercial vehicles," former Volkswagen of America Chief Executive Jonathan Browning said.

But Toyota is not the only car company investing in an untapped market. Hyundai and Honda plan to release a fuel cell vehicle this year and next year, respectively.

After debuting the concept at the Tokyo Motor Show in November, Toyota plans to start selling the car in the United States next year. Though the car's price is being kept under wraps, Toyota claims the car will be sold at a reduced price.

The Toyota model will produce 100 kilowatts of power, or 134 horsepower, which is the same as a Prius. It will go from zero to 60 mph in about 10 seconds or less and will have a range of 300 miles.

New state laws may push car companies to model themselves after Toyota. California's stringent environmental regulations require that 15 percent of the new cars sold in the state by 2025 be zero-emission vehicles, which at this point are either electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles. Nine other states have set the same goal with a target of having 3.3 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025.

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