Toyota's fuel cell leap

* New system has 515-mile range * Improved cold-weather performance, too * Too expensive for production, though...

Toyota has developed a fuel cell car with a range of 515 miles - more than double the range it could previously achieve.

The system, which is being developed in Japan for eventual commercial use, is fitted to a test car called the 'Toyota FCHV-adv' (which stands for Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle-advanced).

Hydrogen fuel cells convert hydrogen and oxygen into water, and in the process produce electricity that can be used to drive electric motors, with the only waste product being water.

The car also features new cold-start technology, which means it can operate in temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees Celsius, greatly increasing the variety of conditions and climates the vehicle can operate in.

Toyota says that research into the system is ongoing, and that it will have to reduce the system's cost and increase its durability before it can go into production.