If you don’t have fuel cell vehicles on your radar, it’s time to start taking the new technology seriously. Last time we heard from green.autoblog.com, there were about 200 orders for the new 2016 Toyota Mirai fuel cell vehicle. Today, Toyota is prepared to invest 20 billion yen ($168 million) to expand its annual production capacity.
We don’t know a whole lot about the plant where the Mirai will be produced (probably a strategic move on Toyota’s part), but we do know Toyota plans to build about 700 2016 Mirais this year, and 2,000 units of the fuel cell vehicle in 2016.
Japanese newspaper Nikkei reports that Toyota expects to sell 400 Mirais in Japan by the end of 2015, 200-300 units in the U.S. by the end of 2015, and between 50 and 100 in Europe by the end of 2016. It doesn’t sound like much, because it’s not – but, contrast that with the whopping 3,000 units Toyota expects to sell in the U.S. by 2017, and you’ve got serious growth.
To keep up with the exponential demand, Toyota is prepared to upgrade the assembly location and add two lines to the factory where the fuel cell stacks and tanks are built.
In the U.S., the Mirai will only be available in California next year. The Mirai’s price tag (starting at $57,500), will include hydrogen fuel fill-ups for up to three years.
Here at Lancaster Toyota, we are looking forward to the expansion of a hydrogen fueling network, which would allow more states nationwide to sell the Mirai.
We want to know: would you purchase a Mirai, provided adequate fueling infrastructure existed? Tell us in the comments!