Japanese Officials Pushing Hard With Subsidies For New Hydrogen Mirai

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

The 2015 Toyota Mirai may be breaking new ground in the fuel-cell vehicle game beyond merely existing, as subsidies galore are being thrown at potential consumers on all sides, including the possibility of owning the FCV for free.

Automotive News reports the ¥7 million ($68,556 USD) Mirai — whose name translates to “future” — will receive a ¥2 million (~$20,000) subsidy from the Japanese government when the first models go on sale next year, with residents of Aichi prefecture — the home of Toyota — taking an extra ¥1 million (~$10,000) from the local government.

However, paying only as much as ¥4 million ($39,175) for the honor of being one of the new pioneers of the silver hydrogen future might not be enough to bring the Mirai out of the showroom, as fueling infrastructure is nearly non-existent. The Japanese government aims to bring 100 stations online by March 2015 at the earliest, for what it’s worth.

So, where does the “free car” offer come in? Japanese business daily Nihon Keizai reported on a few suggestions made by a government panel on how to spur FCV adoption rates, including offering free FCVs, free hydrogen refueling and toll exemptions. The daily explained that the government’s hydrogen vision “must contain more radical ideas” in order to generate excitement from the public and “catalyze a revolutionary socioeconomic change.” A hell of a way to push the Mirai for Summerslam, one would suppose.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • Redav Redav on Aug 07, 2014

    Despite all the news I've seen on this car & the subsidies Japan is offering, I haven't seen any in-depth reporting why Japan is so gung-ho on hydrogen.

    • See 3 previous
    • JPWhite JPWhite on Aug 26, 2014

      @cdotson Thanks cdorson. That's the most credible explanation I've seen since Japan and Toyota announced their love affair with Hydrogen. I must say as a consumer, free car plus free fuel sounds like a great deal. Such desperate pronouncements do support the idea of a hidden agenda. I think you've nailed it on the head.

  • DeadWeight DeadWeight on Aug 07, 2014

    Even more so than the Camry SE, this Toyota Mirai looks "grounded to the ground."

  • Frozenman Frozenman on Aug 07, 2014

    I'll give them props for having a culture that can encourage innovation without the need for immediate returns on investment. The world may end up in a better place because of their initiatives and subjecting their efforts to ridicule is short sighted and ignorant imho.

    • FormerFF FormerFF on Aug 07, 2014

      There are too many fundamental issues with hydrogen as a fuel. That's where the negative reaction comes from. Even if you figure out how to make the fuel cell cost effective, the production of hydrogen is inefficient by nature.

  • Kyree Kyree on Aug 07, 2014

    I just can't believe Toyota wants to release a car with this styling. Toyota's had some hits and misses recently, but nothing as dog ugly as this vehicle.