Toyota Increasing Mirai Production To Meet Strengthening Demand
Its looks leave the B&B cold, and is powered by a fuel whose infrastructure leaves a lot to be desired. So, how popular could the Toyota Mirai possibly be? Better than you’d expect.
Nikkei Asian Review reports Toyota will be investing ¥20 billion ($165 million USD) to triple local production in order to meet corporate and public-sector demand, which is likely to exceed the 700 units currently planned for assembly by the FCV’s showroom debut December 15.
The investment will allow for increased fuel stack and hydrogen tank production at its main factory in Toyota City, with upgrades planned at a nearby facility where final assembly of the Mirai is conducted. In turn, the move could spur on related investments in infrastructure and other products by interested companies.
Toyota expects to sell 400 Mirais in its home market by the end of 2015, with 3,000-plus moved in the United States by the same period in 2017, and around 50 to 100 in Europe in 2016. Exports to the U.S. and Europe are set to begin next summer.
Everyone talks about how it looks, all I'm seeing is a slightly altered Corolla. Granted a Corolla isn't anything to look at, but you don't hear all this on the Corolla threads. Not that I support this mess, as there is yet to be offered a sensible way to mass produce H2
Sooo...can we label this a "fleet queen" now?
The whole issue with hydrogen fueled cars is not the "cars" part, it's the "hydrogen" part. I have zero doubt that Toyota and others can make viable hydrogen fuel cell cars that drive quite nicely. They may even be able to make them at a competitive price someday. The problem is that as of the present, there are two ways to produce hydrogen, and both require vast quantities of energy, either electricity or natural gas, than can be more efficiently used in their original forms. If there's any research that needs to be done, it's by the energy producers, not by the carmakers. There is already an enormous commercial market for hydrogen, as it is used to produce ammonia. If there were some obvious less resource intensive means for producing hydrogen, I suspect it would be in use.
I must be the only person who loves the way this thing looks and would be the first to buy a Camry or Prius if it looked exactly like a Mirai.