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Toyota Fuel Cell Vehicle Due In 2015 To Be Called Called Mirai
Imagine driving a car with no harmful emissions, that could go for 300 miles, and be filled
back up in 3-5 minutes. That's the reality of Toyota's upcoming fuel cell vehicle, which
today has been confirmed as the Mirai. The vehicle will go on sale in Japan in April
2015 and should be in U.S. showrooms by the following summer, as a 2016 model.
Mirai, which means “future” in Japanese, is being hailed as a turning point for the
automotive industry as it’s destined to be the first mass produced vehicle powered
by a fuel cell stack, which takes in hydrogen and oxygen and generates electricity to drive
its motor(s). The only by-product is water.
The Mirai, first shown in concept form at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, is expected to
be sold to customers instead of being leased, as has been the case for previous fuel cell
vehicles like Honda's FCX Clarity. In Japan, the vehicle will be priced close to seven
million yen (approximately $60,294). Pricing in other markets will be announced closer
to launch.
Of course, whether hydrogen is a realistic widespread fuel source (right now it's most
certainly not) and whether it's sourced from non-fossil-fuel sources (right now most of
it comes from natural gas), the idea of a fuel cell vehicle is intriguing to many. To
help answer these unknowns, Toyota has also announced a new commitment to drive the development
of a hydrogen refueling infrastructure, with a new initiative in five northeastern U.S.
states set to join the existing initiatives on the west coast.
The automaker is collaborating with a company called Air Liquide to develop and supply a
phased network of 12 hydrogen stations targeted for New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut,
and Rhode Island, a move similar to Tesla Motors’ [NSDQ:TSLA] rollout of Supercharger
stations to help spur the adoption of its battery-powered electric cars. The states
and locations Toyota picked were selected in the greater New York and Boston areas so
that a backbone of a hydrogen highway for the Northeast corridor could be developed.
Specific details of the collaboration will be revealed in the coming months.
The new initiative builds on Toyota’s previous support for hydrogen infrastructure development
in California. In May 2014, Toyota announced a $7.3 million loan to FirstElement Fuels
to support the operations and maintenance of 19 hydrogen fueling stations across the
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Toyota To Launch Fuel Cell Car Next Month To Be Called Mirai

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Glenn published on March 9, 2015
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