Toyota to Sell Hydrogen-powered Cars in 2015

February 6, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. showcase /ˈʃoʊˌkeɪs/ (v.) – to show or present an item, usually in an event
Example: The museum showcases many old car models.

2. prototype /ˈproʊtəˌtaɪp/ (n.) – original or first model of a thing or product
Example: The new car model’s prototype will still undergo changes before its release.

3. accelerate /ækˈsɛləˌreɪt/ (v.) – to move with greater speed
Example: The car accelerated when he stepped on the gas pedal.

4. impending /ɪmˈpɛndɪŋ/ (adj.) – possible to happen soon, usually a problem or danger
Example: Sleepy drivers face an impending road accident.

5. optimal /ˈɒptəməl/ (adj.) – giving the most effective or best results
Example: Well-maintained cars provide optimal driving experience.


Read the text below.
Japanese carmaker Toyota is set to sell hydrogen-powered electric cars in the U.S. in 2015.

The company showcased its latest model of fuel cell vehicles (FCV) in the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held in Las Vegas. Toyota plans to start selling these vehicles in California, with a price ranging from $50,000 to $100,000.

Bob Carter, senior vice president of Toyota U.S.A., said the demand for FCVs in the U.S. has recently increased. He added that the company will reduce the production costs from the prototype by 95 percent in order to provide a reasonable cost for the buyers.

FCVs can drive for 300 miles or 482 kilometers. This vehicle can also accelerate for almost 100 kilometers per hour within 10 seconds from steady position. When refueling, the hydrogen tank can be filled in three to five minutes.

Almost all car users will still drive with engine-based vehicles by 2015. So, gas stations with a hydrogen refueling area can be difficult to find. However, Carter said the company has already worked with University of California researchers to solve this impending problem.

As of now, 68 refueling stations from San Francisco to San Diego can provide the hydrogen for the FCVs. California has also agreed to provide $200 million to construct 20 more stations by 2015. By 2024, the company aims to have a total of 100 refueling stations.

Carter added that the researchers also analyzed the optimal locations on where to best place the hydrogen stations. They plan to place each station where it will be accessible in people’s home and office.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What do you think are the disadvantages of using FCVs? Kindly explain.
·         Would you be willing to try using an FCV? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         How can this type of innovation help the environment?
·         If you were an inventor, what type of innovation would you create to help protect the environment? Please explain.


February 6, 2014