Toyota’s Mirai sedan could help kickstart the hydrogen revolution in the US
Toyota Motors has been teasing its upcoming hydrogen-powered car more most of 2014, but at the Los Angeles automotive show the Japanese automaker announced that its new Mirai sedan will be available to consumers for $57,000 starting in 2015. However, Toyota claims that the price for the four-door car will be significantly lower when you factor in government incentives.
“Basically this vehicle has a tank on board that carries hydrogen,” said Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz, as quoted by CBS News. “It will travel almost 300 miles on a single tank, it takes about five minutes to re-charge, and the emissions is only water vapor.”
Despite the numerous advantages of hydrogen-powered vehicles, such as the complete lack of emissions, the absence of convenient hydrogen infrastructure has made its adoption abysmally low. Unfortunately, no hydrogen infrastructure will be developed unless there’s enough demand form hydrogen-powered vehicles to warrant it. It’s the good old chicken-and-egg problem. Toyota dealers around the country are going to try to create the demand.
The good news is that Toyota is looking to solve both of these problems at the same time with its new sedan. According to Forbes, the automaker is also subsidizing the construction of more hydrogen stations in California and the Northeast. With five minute refueling and a 300 mile range on a full tank, the Mirai might actually stand a change in the United States.
“Mirai will be available to customers in California beginning in fall 2015, with additional markets tracking the expansion of a convenient hydrogen refueling infrastructure,” said Toyota on its official blog. “Powered by an industry-leading fuel cell electric drivetrain and supported by an exceptional 360-degree ownership experience, Mirai marks a turning point for consumer expectations for a zero-emission vehicle.”