The Toyota FCV will go on sale in early 2015 (Photo: Toyota)

Toyota unveiled the exterior design of its first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle and said the car will cost 7 million yen or roughly 50,000 euros when it goes on sale in Japan later this year.

The sales price, which excludes consumption tax, is lower than the 1 million yen Toyota indicated earlier and officials said cost cuts were implemented to bring the sales price into an "affordable" range.

"To realize a price we thought would be acceptable to customers, we made every effort to reach this level," Toyota Executive Vice President Mitsuhisa Kato said.

Toyota plans to launch the FCV in Japan first and it said its is preparing market introductions in Europe and the US a few months later. The sales price for these regions hasn't been set yet.

In Japan, sales will be limited to regions where there already is a hydrogen refueling infrastructure under development.

In 2002, Toyota began leasing a fuel-cell SUV, the Toyota FCHV, on a limited basis in Japan and the US. The company said it had made "significant improvements to the system since then. The model that will go on sale now has a range of  700km and it can be refueled in about 3 minutes.