Toyota will launch their mid-size hydrogen sedan next fall, with a range of up to 300 miles, 153 horsepower and a $57,500 price tag which includes free hydrogen for up to three years. But you can only get it in California. And should only look at it if you're blind.
That steep figure could drop to less than $45,000 with federal incentives, which makes this early adopter deal much sweeter for Californians.
Just like Honda's FCV Concept, the production Mirai will refuel in less than five minutes, and also comes with an optional power take off (PTO) device that turns it into a mobile generator. Toyota says the Mirai, which means future in Japanese, is "capable of powering home essentials in an average house for up to a week in an emergency," emitting only water in the process, of course.
The fuel cell stack delivers 3.1 kW/L (4.1 hp) and is so tiny that it fits under the front driver and passenger seats. It won't make the Mirai sporty though, with acceleration to 62mph taking a whole 9.0 seconds.
When it comes to reliability and safety, Toyota enters the game with thousands of miles logged during hot testing in Death Valley, cold testing in Canada, steep grade hill climbs in San Francisco and high altitude trips in Colorado. The hydrogen tanks are made of high-strength carbon fiber in order to withstand extreme forces. Toyota crashed many Mirai (Japanese nouns can be singular or plural!) to see what's what.
The car will also feature the usual gizmos including vehicle pre-collision, blind spot monitor, lane departure alert, drive start control and automatic high beams.
Toyota wants those early adopters to be super happy with their new tech, so the Mirai package comes with 24/7 concierge service, 24/7 enhanced roadside assistance (including towing), battery and flat tire assistance, trip interruption reimbursement, a loaner vehicle, three years of free factory maintenance up to 12,000 miles annually, an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty on fuel cell components, Entune and three years of complimentary Safety Connect including hydrogen station map app.
Plus complimentary hydrogen fuel for up to three years.
The biggest issue of course is the infrastructure, a problem to which Toyota has this answer:
Research at the University of California Irvine's Advanced Power and Energy Program (APEP) has found that 68 stations, located at the proper sites, could handle a FCV population of at least 10,000 vehicles. Those stations are on their way to becoming a reality. By the end of 2015, 3 of California's 9 active hydrogen stations and 17 newly-constructed stations are scheduled to be opened to the general public, with 28 additional stations set to come online by the end of 2016, bringing the near-term total to 48 stations.
Nineteen of those 48 stations will be built by FirstElement Fuels, supported by a $7.3 million loan from Toyota. The company has also announced additional efforts to develop infrastructure in the country's Northeast region. In 2016, Air Liquide, in collaboration with Toyota, is targeting construction of 12 stations in five states – New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
Now, they only have to make the Mirai less ugly I guess.
Photo credit: Toyota