Toyota has announced that its hydrogen fuel-cell sedan, unveiled at this week’s Los Angeles Auto Show, will be called the Mirai, which means “future” in Japanese.
“For us, this isn’t just another car,” said Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda at a pre-show press event. “This is an opportunity to really make a difference. This is a car that lets you have it all with no compromises. As a test driver, I knew this new fuel-cell vehicle had to be truly fun to drive – and believe me, it is. It has a low center of gravity, which gives it very dynamic handling.”
The Mirai has a range of about 300 miles on a full tank of compressed hydrogen, and refueling takes less than five minutes. Initial press materials revealed a power-out CHAdeMO jack tucked away in the trunk of the vehicle, capable of powering a home for up to seven days. Although, according to GreenCarReports, Toyota execs have not decided whether this option will be available in the first batch of vehicles sold in US.
Toyota also announced plans to partner with Air Liquide, a global producer of hydrogen and other gases, to develop fueling infrastructure in five Northeastern states where the Mirai will go on sale by 2016. Toyota has selected strategic locations to create a “hydrogen highway” between the greater New York and Boston areas.
In May, Toyota loaned $7.3 million to FirstElement Fuel to build 9 hydrogen fueling stations in southern California.
A total of 700 Toyota Mirai sedans are scheduled to go on sale next year in Japan, Europe, and California. It will be priced around $69,000 in Japan. The 200 units slated for the US will start at $57,500, with a leasing option of $499 per month/36 month lease option and $3,649 due at signing. Toyota estimates that with combined state and federal incentives of $13,000, the purchase price could potentially fall to under $45,000.