When Lexus unveiled the LF-FC at the Tokyo Motor Show in October 2015, Lexus fans got a sneak peek into the future.
The “FC” in the model’s name stands for fuel cell, which references the car’s eponymous drive system.
Fuel cells essentially mix two elements that are abundant in nature—hydrogen and oxygen—to produce electricity, and the LF-FC contains a stack of them to collectively act as a small, compact battery, removing the need for a conventional gas engine and the necessity for heavier batteries.
The benefits add up. Unlike many electric vehicle designs, refueling a fuel-cell-powered unit takes only a few minutes. It’s also amazingly clean—water vapor is the only emission. Power is transferred to the ground via in-wheel motors at each front wheel (along with a rear-wheel drivetrain), making the model an all-wheel-drive vehicle.