Toyota has confirmed it will launch a hydrogen fuel cell-powered car in 2015, but said sales volumes would be limited. 

The car, which will be a mid-sized saloon comparable to the current Avensis, will closely reference the Toyota FCV concept shown at the Geneva motor show last month.

Toyota says it will use a high-density fuel stack and will have the potential to cover 500 miles on a single tank of fuel.

European president, Didier Leroy said he recognised fuel cell technology will take time to be adopted. “To help that happen we will bring a reasonable number of cars to Europe. The volume will be limited, but they will be visible on the streets,” he said.

The firm is working with BMW to accelerate its fuel cell research and development. Karl Schlicht, Toyota Europe’s second in command said the firm would pioneer the technology and points to Toyota’s role in the widespread adoption of hybrid drivetrains. He said: “There is of course a long way to go, as with any game-changing technology, but remember the same was said about hybrid only 10 years ago.

“Toyota is ready to back and lead this change, so we will be pioneering fuel cell step by step.”

He also said that hydrogen fuel is easy to store, better at capturing renewable energies than batteries and can be produced anywhere. “Taking these facts into account reinforces how Toyota is convinced fuel cell can deliver our ultimate goal of zero emissions and sustainable transport,” he said.