By on December 9, 2014

Toyota Mirai in Red

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.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

91 Comments on “Toyota Increasing Mirai Production To Meet Strengthening Demand...”


  • avatar
    redav

    “likely to exceed the 700 units currently planned for assembly”

    With numbers that low, tripling demand is hardly a vote of confidence.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Those are for the early adopters, the people who have trophy wives, trophy cars, etc. Just like the Plug-in EVs were.

      Remember when Electric Cars were all the rage and it was predicted we would “soon” have more than a million EVs/PEVs on the road?

      Well, it ain’t happening. IIRC, there are currently well less than 200 million of those electric jalopies on the roads, highways and byways of America.

      What a scam! And subs!dized with tax payer dollars to boot!

      Give me good old gasoline! Dependable, plentiful, powerful gasoline.

  • avatar
    FractureCritical

    let’s pretend I’m a Toyota executive and I’m working on the Mirai project. – this implicitly states that I’m an idiot because any sane salaryman would use commit seppuku rather than work on this abomination, but I digress.

    Anyway, I’m a toyota executive, and I’m sitting down with my suppliers for this..this.. thing, and I say I need 700 widgets for my production run. Teh supplier laughs at me while picking his teeth with the corner of the press photo for the Mirai. After he gets the last bits of tofu out of his bicuspids, he flatly says that I can go pound salt for anything less than 2000 units. Yeah, he could do 700 units, but at that volume, it’d cost as much or more than a real order after tolling and set-up.

    Crap. How do I sell this to management? I’d need some sort of baloney cover story. Anticipated tripled demand! That’s the ticket! Now I can go snort some lines of coke off of the rejected concept designs for for FR-S turbo kit.

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      The thing is, most of their major suppliers are probably already making hundreds of thousands of widgets for other Toyotas and can absorb the investments required. Their suppliers probably view tooling up for unique, ultra-low Mirai parts as a cost of doing business with Toyota. There may even be some existing contractual agreement to work on x number of low volume development projects.

      Also, getting in the door with Toyota as a supplier is notoriously difficult. Sure, there are some suppliers that will not take on this project, but there are tons of other small suppliers that would jump at the opportunity of a supply relationship with Toyota.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        “there are tons of other small suppliers that would jump at the opportunity of a supply relationship with Toyota.”

        That’s how it was with Segway. Ask their suppliers how that worked out.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          I’ve never previously known you to say ridiculous things. Never previously.

          • 0 avatar
            SCE to AUX

            @ CJ: not sure what you mean. I worked for a Segway supplier who went belly-up because they foolishly believed Segway’s promise of a million sales, and tooled up accordingly.

            Then the sales trickled in by the hundreds, and we couldn’t meet payroll. As a small supplier, there was no other revenue stream.

            My point is that small suppliers take on a big risk if they believe Toyota’s projections, modest as they are.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            My point was that you’re comparing Toyota to Segway. Suppliers that don’t have relationships with Toyota want them. The point of taking on Mirai business would be for a company to prove itself to Toyota. The Mirai could be a mere technical exercise. It could be a successful niche product in Japan. It could be a silly flop. Whatever happens, if a new company is able to demonstrate quality and turn around time to Toyota, it is likely to be the best marketing expenditure such a small company will ever make. I could have told you Seqway wouldn’t revolutionize anything the second I saw the prototype, let alone the specs. That isn’t even the point. Toyota is the most successful car company in the world. Segway was a gimmick endorsed by people that think their technical expertise makes them empirically intelligent. They were deluded.

    • 0 avatar
      James2

      @FractureCritical

      Hilarious post, but think ‘keiretsu’. No supplier in Toyota’s chain would dare stand up to The Man, even if they want to scream.

      • 0 avatar
        SpinnyD

        That’s because Toyota usually buys into their suppliers, Kinda hard to explain to the part owner of your business why you can’t do something they want you to.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    Everything above the headlights should swing up as one piece like a toilet seat. Then you could buy an aftermarket one made of oak.

    Maybe someone like Bertel or Eamonn Fitzsimons could explain the corporate/government kabuki behind Toyota’s extravagant ruse here.

  • avatar
    harshciygar

    What Toyota fails to mention is that almost all of these are going to corporate test fleets so said corporations can say “Hey look, we’re on the hydrogen hype train too!”

    That’s the problem with the Mirai, and Toyota just doesn’t seem to see it. The ONLY reason to want one of these is if you’re a hydrogen fuel fan. In terms of looks, performance, and practicality, there’s no reason to want the Mirai. You can’t even make the argument that it will save you money, because once Toyota does start charging for fuel, at best it will cost the same as gasoline. At worst, it will be more than double a gallon of petrol.

    I have a hard time believing even Toyota is taking the Mirai seriously. It is a slow and hideous contraption, and this is meant to be the flag bearer for hydrogen fuel?

    The only people who buy a care and don’t care one lick about its looks or performance (in terms of either speed or efficiency) are corporate fleet buyers…and that’s who Toyota is selling the Mirai to.

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      “Hey look, we’re on the hydrogen hype train too!”

      But to whom is saying that profitable or politically expedient? Japanese consumers?

      I realize the tsunami-like power of trend and greenwashing there. I can’t imagine this would have legs anyplace else except California.

    • 0 avatar
      Stumpaster

      Hey, you are back! I pulled up your rant from 15 years ago:

      What Toyota fails to mention is that almost all of these are going to corporate test fleets so said corporations can say “Hey look, we’re on the hybrid electric hype train too!”

      That’s the problem with the Prius, and Toyota just doesn’t seem to see it. The ONLY reason to want one of these is if you’re an electric hybrid fan. In terms of looks, performance, and practicality, there’s no reason to want the Prius. You can’t even make the argument that it will save you money, because once Toyota does start dumping these cars at below cost prices, at best it will cost to run the same as gasoline. At worst, it will be more than double a gallon of petrol.

      I have a hard time believing even Toyota is taking the Prius seriously. It is a slow and hideous contraption, and this is meant to be the flag bearer for hybrid vehicles?

      The only people who buy a care and don’t care one lick about its looks or performance (in terms of either speed or efficiency) are corporate fleet buyers…and that’s who Toyota is selling the Prius to.

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        @ Stumpmaster

        Batteries and gas stations were both commonplace when the Prius was conceived and introduced. Didn’t need an entire new nation-wide fuel infrastructure.

        Now you wanna sit down and stop heckling the guy? ‘Cause I’d like to hear what he has to say.

        • 0 avatar

          Agreed.

          A hybrid improves fuel efficiency for a technology and infrastructure that *already exists*, be it Gasoline, Diesel or CNG. Producing a hybrid and then saying oh by the way we need a new infrastructure is a different proposition altogether, and kinda backwards if you ask me.

          Hydrogen vehicles will sell in small quantities for a longtime. CNG sales are very small more than a decade after the introduction of the Honda Civic GX. Unlike Hydrogen there already exists a backbone of infrastructure for natural gas and the tech still doesn’t get traction with consumers.

          The infrastructure will hold Hydrogen back. By the time there is close to enough hydrogen infrastructure BEV’s will be much more advanced and the speed of refueling advantage hydrogen has may no longer exist or be relevant.

          http://jpwhitenissanleaf.com/2014/12/04/evolution-of-electric-and-hydrogen-vehicles-what-is-the-future/

          • 0 avatar

            Or maybe they won’t lick the battery problems of range and recharging time. I’m not going to place bets on either (or against either) at this point in time.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            Hydrogen will always be a step or two behind batteries.

            – As fuel cell costs come down, battery costs will also come down.
            – As hydrogen gets cheaper, it will never be cheaper than electricity.
            – As hydrogen infrastructure gets built, more electric power plants will be built (at a lower price)
            – As fuel cells increase in efficiency, battery energy density will increase and recharge time will decrease.

            Regardless of the problems physics has with hydrogen, it’s just too late to market to overtake batteries.

      • 0 avatar
        whynot

        The Prius is different in the sense that it utilized existing infrastructure to work.

        For hydrogen vehicles to work you need widescale adoption and acceptance (more than the Prius) as an entirely new fueling network is required.

        Also while the Prius was distinct, it wasn’t hideous like this thing is. This looks like a car that is in the middle of digesting another car.

        • 0 avatar
          Nessuno

          And how is that any different from the EV market? The key is in incentives. Electrocution was incentivized thus taken up, Hydrogen is now enjoying the same treatment and thus taken up…

          It’s not just Toyota, Toyota just gets to plant their flag first on the moon.

          • 0 avatar
            harshciygar

            You can install a charging station anywhere for a couple of thousand bucks these days. You can also plug in at home with a Level 2 charger for about $500.

            The cost of a single hydrogen pumping station is about $ 1 million, and you can’t fill up at home except in a solar-powered electrolysis wonderland that only exists in very small pilot projects due to the exorbitant cost.

            I am a big fan of alternative fuel vehicles, but hydrogen fuel cells aren’t any better than what we’ve already got, especially considering almost all hydrogen fuel comes from natural gas. How is that any better than the cars we’ve already got?

          • 0 avatar
            DC Bruce

            Last time I checked (by turning on the lights), there was a distribution network in place for electricity. Not so with hydrogen.

          • 0 avatar
            Richard Chen

            Yes, there’s a power grid. But if you don’t have a garage spot to overnight charge your EV, it’s off to the local 480V charger to hang out for half an hour.

          • 0 avatar

            @Richard Chen.

            Yes an EV is a tough proposition for someone living in a high rise or rented appt.

            A good solution for those folks is workplace charging. Until that is ubiquitous it will continue to be challenging for drivers with no easy way to install a charging station or even gain access a convenient 120v outlet.

          • 0 avatar
            FormerFF

            No, the problem is with physics. Production of hydrogen is inefficient, distribution is problematic, and storage is troublesome. No matter how much research is done, the production of hydrogen will be inefficient, it’s inherent in the physics of the process.

    • 0 avatar

      This isn’t for consumers. this is for zero emissions credits in California and the US so they can sell more Tundras

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        Given the success of the Tundra, I have a hard time believing that’s a major motivator.

        Still, if Toyota was to be punished and couldn’t sell cars in CA, something not as efficient would replace thousands of Priuses every year. Hardly a win for CA.

        I know… the ways of CARB are a wonder to behold. Or something like that.

  • avatar
    fr88

    Instead of federal tax rebates to incentivise purchase of this misshapen lump, there should be stiff penalties levied on every buyer spending $57,000 to mar the landscape with this deeply offensive insult to automobile design.

    Thank the sweet Jesus production is only stretching to 700. At least it’s not likely one’s sensibilities will be assaulted very often. Too many ugly things in this world. Why would a manufacturer not strive to create a thing of grace and beauty? Apparently, Toyota has lost all capacity to do so.

    • 0 avatar

      Well, it is even uglier than most cars today, but so was the Dodge Caliber. And 90% of contemporary cars are ugly enough to be certified as a Blot on the Landscape. Most are so ugly that the Boston-based Museum of Bad Art would not show them.

      I can remember when Car and Driver had a very funny road test of the first bubble (’90 I think) Chevy Caprice, where much mirth was made. It ends with the test driver coming out one morning in Chicago to find the high cop cred Caprice with the outline of someone’s derriere on the window. The last line: “have a nice day, officer!”

      Now I look back nostalgically on the ’90s Caprices.

  • avatar

    Does it feature autonomous drive? Prospective buyers must be blind to order a Mirai. I understand when the Mirai has robo-drive.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    They’re going to chop off the last letter in the name, and sell it to the Hispanic community in California. That would cover their sales goal desires.

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    Toyota is really trying to out do the Aztek, not?

    And, IHMO, they are exceeding way past their expectation.

    FUGLY^GOOGOL

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    I just showed that photo to my wife and she explained the front-end design: It was Bring Your Child To Work day at the design studio.

    “Now give it a real mean mouth with squiggly things hanging down over it and make it HUGE and scary with little squinty eyes. Or I’ll tell mommy what I found on your tablet.”

  • avatar
    KixStart

    Honda and Kia (IIRC) will also be offering FCVs in the near future. I don’t know if H2 has a bright future but betting against this is betting against some proven winners.

    Still, I’m surprised at the configuration of the Mirai. I expected a smaller stack and a higher-capacity battery, maybe with 20 miles or so of range; a P-FCV. The FC stack must be very expensive; cutting its output by a third or a half and using a larger battery would probably result in a less costly car that could make do with a sparser H2 supply infrastructure. In fact, the Volt’s 40 miles wouldn’t go amiss in this vehicle.

    Maybe CA’s program to encourage H2 is freighted with the same kind of bizarre restriction that makes the BMW i3Rex so unattractive.

    • 0 avatar

      FCEV’s in the past have needed large traction battery packs to make them viable. Essentially the FCEV’s Achilles heel.

      The innovation here is that Toyota have reduced the battery to be hybrid size and have increased the output from the fuel cell stack to offer acceptable performance. They have clearly done a lot of work on the fuel cell to pull this minor miracle off.

      Despite the innovation, infrastructure will hold them back in the US.

      Mirai has a lot of Govt support in Japan. Interesting to see they built in a CHAdeMO port to provide electricity to run a Japanese home in a disaster scenario (Tsunami/earthquake/typhoon) for several days. Quiet and clean backup generator for your home that gets you around town as well. The generating capacity isn’t much when compared to the average US homes electricity demand, but the guys renting bouncy castles might have a use for it :-)

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        It depends on the exact cost of the components. I figure the stack is hideously expensive. If 8 to 10 KW-H of plug-in capacity, which is becoming more reasonable every day, would allow you to cut the stack in half and avoid many, many trips to the H2 station, it would be a win.

        If this car was more Volt-like and I could drive it most of the time on electricity, only refuelling at a convenient H2 station along the expressway when I head out of town, I’d consider it (ummm… price aside).

        Such a strategy would reduce the amount of H2 infrastructure necessary to conveniently use the car.

        On the other hand, maybe Toyota wants to prove it out as an H2 vehicle. A PFCV maybe doesn’t do that for them in quite the same way.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    I would love to own a Mirai. As I get older, I’m craving a car with even bigger jowls than mine.

  • avatar
    xtoyota

    My god that front end IS UGLY…….
    As a matter of fact All new Toyota/Lexus front ends are REALLY BAD looking

  • avatar
    nguyenvuminh

    I never realized there are so many comedians out there. I guess that’s why you guys are not engineers making the cars you think people love and will sell. I guess it’s better to sit at a computer taking potshots at other people. Let’s wait couple of years to see what happens to the Mirai and hydrogen cars. AS for those that say this will lose money, you’re probably right. But I guess that’s Toyota’s way of saying we got money to burn as opposed to those that have to rely on government bail outs and getting acquired to stay alive; and if you have a problem with that, wait till you see your neighbor buy one of our ugly cars and take your commuter lane in the morning.

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      In earlier articles on TTAC a number of known engineers have already said they considered both the energy costs of producing sufficient hydrogen as well as committing to build the infrastructure to provide it are silly-pants.

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      In earlier articles on TTAC a number of known engineers have already said they cons1dered both the energy costs of producing sufficient hydrogen as well as committing to build the infrastructure to provide it are silly-pants.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      “I never realized there are so many comedians out there. I guess that’s why you guys are not engineers making the cars you think people love and will sell.”

      I can tell you’re not an engineer based on this simplistic summation. Any engineer will tell you it’s not as simply as sitting down and designing what YOU want, there are other people involved usually with more say so then the engineering sitting at his desk

      But, based on your condescension you obviously knew that. Also, based on your offense at us taking comical pot shots at this hideous little car we can assume you lack any sense of humor, a red flag for reduced intellect, but we DO appreciate your input and have a good day

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    I think Honda’s switch to CVT in the Accord says a lot about how far CVTs have come for mainstream cars.

  • avatar
    RHD

    It’s designed to minimize injuries to pedestrians, while simultaneously inhaling their service dog.

  • avatar
    geee

    Perhaps it’s just my imagination, but that thing strongly resembles a catfish on wheels.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    I dunno what bugs me more, the fact that Toyotas trying to make their pedestrian family sedans all “mean and aggressive”, or the fact that the Camaro will eventually look like this 3 years later.

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Brisbane

    I’m sad to see all the negativity here. Hydrogen fuel cell cars may be currently impractical but I enjoy reading about alternative developments. Whether it’s CNG, LPG, LNG, LiFePO4 batteries, diesel, licorice or cane toads, as long as I am not paying for it, bring it on.

    • 0 avatar
      nguyenvuminh

      Hear hear Spike_in_Brisbane. We’ve been hearing how the Japanese just copy others and then refine things. Well, now they are trying to lead the way and here comes the condemnation. So what if Toyota wants to take risks, technology-wise, design-wise, financially? They seemed to have done pretty well with hybrid in terms of spurring other companies to adopt hybrid into their line-up not to mention sales and now they think/want they can do the same with hydrogen. And wasn’t it the Germans about 4-6 years ago who lauded hydrogen over electric cars? As for the car being ugly or nice, one man’s ugliness is another beauty. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not fond of Toyota nor have I ever owned one before (I have owned MB, Hondas and Mazda) but why the condemnation?

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        A lot of stuff gets condemned here. Why are you so bothered by the Mirai being tossed on the same LOL pile?

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Being skeptical of the auto industry and their motives is a learned behavior because, gee, I don’t know why just read through every recall and drive just about any car built during the malaise era and you might get a feel for the general cynicism surrounding everything they do. Cars are much like the government, we can’t live with ’em and we can’t live without ’em, but we can call BS on them whenever we get a whiff of it

      • 0 avatar
        WheelMcCoy

        >> but why the condemnation?

        With the Prius, Toyota took a calculated risk and was indeed visionary. With the Murai, Toyota is actually taking the easy path.

        1. Fuel cells need oil to make hydrogen and to deliver hydrogen. While this doesn’t make them friends with big oil, it doesn’t make them enemies either. EVs are a bigger threat to big oil than fuel cells.

        2. Making hydrogen often requires bad trade-offs. Electrolysis of water — H20 — yields 2 hydrogen atoms but is a very expensive process. Cracking ammonia — NH3 — yields 3 hydrogen atoms, but ammonia is nasty stuff, needs to be managed, and contradicts the “clean” fuel cell image.

        3. Hydrogen can be obtained from natural gas, but then… why not just use natural gas?

        4. With the dropping price of gas, and fuel economy concerns receding from America’s collective memory, Toyota needs a strong — if only symbolic — entrant to meet California’s cafe standards. The Murai is an over achieving compliance car.

        5. Toyota’s foray into the fuel cell doesn’t hurt Prius sales but does create FUD about EVs.

        Thus, fuel cells are really a small cheap win for Toyota, and nothing more.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          WheelMcCoy, a small cheap win for Toyota like the Prius Hybrid is.

        • 0 avatar

          You make some great points. As usual here my 2c to add to yours

          1. Big Oil loves Hydrogen. If consumers can be convinced to switch from Gasoline to Hydrogen for their vehicle, then the driver still has to visit the gas station for 100% of his/her transportation fuel. No fueling at home which is why big oil hates EV’s.

          2. Solar is a reasonable way to create Hydrogen form Water. Except for the fact the same amount of solar electricity will propel an EV much farther than a Hydrogen vehicle. You’re trading quick refueling capability for efficiency, which maybe palatable to many.

          3. Natural Gas. This is a puzzler. Natural Gas requires little to no refining to be ready to consume. Better than oil. It can be delivered underground in a network of pipes, no tankers required. ICE engines can be adapted to burn Natural gas. It burns cleaner (hey it has 4 hydrogen atoms – CH4). Range is a factor. CNG is ‘only’ compressed to 3600psi in vehicles. Hydrogen for the Mirai is compressed to 10,000 psi.

          5. Yes its all about the FUD and trying to convince the public to ‘wait for the future’ and not waste their time with BEV’s. Once the next gen of EV’s come to market this message will lose its gusto.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            Big oil does not “hate EVs.” Big oil companies are energy & chemical companies, not vehicle fuel companies. With coal’s continued downward trend, natural gas is our most important source of electricity. If there was a massive switch to EVs and our gasoline/diesel consumption cratered, big oil would simply readjust their exploration & refining to provide electric power plants with fuel. While I could buy an argument that big oil doesn’t like wind & solar, it’s ignorant to say they don’t like electricity.

            Creating hydrogen from water is bad. Period. It is not reasonable. Doing so is inherently inefficient, especially for powering a vehicle. You can drive roughly 25% as far using hydrogen from hydrolysis as you could using batteries using that exact same solar power. That’s dumb. Supporters of this technique will fail and deservedly so.

            Natural gas does make sense, except for one thing: CO2. If not for the CO2, there is no real reason to go with hydrogen over natural gas.

          • 0 avatar

            Hey Redav

            I didn’t see mention of big oil hating electricity, just EV’s. They don’t want to lose that touch-point with the consumer each time they visit the gas station. Selling fuel to a power plant is a short term proposition anyway. Germany is leading the way with 33% of electricity generated being solar and a lot of their country isn’t well suited for solar!! Once generation of power uses primarily renewables, oil companies will suffer big time. They don’t want to see EV’s succeed.

            Yes electrolysis is an inefficient way to generate Hydrogen, but here’s the advantage it has (at least for now). Refueling with Hydrogen is quick compared to recharging batteries. Many will be willing to trade efficiency for refueling speed. The consumer won’t care if energy went to waste, they just want to get back on the road.

          • 0 avatar
            WheelMcCoy

            @JPWhite – “You make some great points. As usual here my 2c to add to yours”

            More like 5c. :) Glad to see Toyota isn’t fooling most of the B&B.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            “I didn’t see mention of big oil hating electricity, just EV’s.”
            – Fine–big oil doesn’t hate EVs. Being in the business, I call BS.

            “Selling fuel to a power plant is a short term proposition anyway. Germany is leading the way with 33% of electricity generated being solar and a lot of their country isn’t well suited for solar!!”
            – LOL. Since Germany has the same solar potential as Alaska, the fact that they’ve switched so heavily to solar simply proves their policies are not based on cost.

            Much of the US’ success globally is due to our low electricity prices. If we attempted what Germany is doing, our economy would crater. Don’t expect anything similar for many, many decades. (Likewise, EVs or any other alternative fuel vehicles aren’t going to dominate the market enough to impact our energy/fuel strategy for many, many decades. That’s another reason big oil doesn’t hate them.)

            “Yes electrolysis is an inefficient way to generate Hydrogen, but here’s the advantage it has (at least for now). Refueling with Hydrogen is quick compared to recharging batteries.”
            – Hydrogen source & refueling time are separate issues. Even if consumers pick hydrogen because of refueling time, they aren’t getting their fuel from electrolysis.

            Refueling times are reported incorrectly. It does not matter how long the process takes, but how much of your time it wastes. Let’s say it takes 10 min to pump hydrogen into a tank. That’s okay. But what about the time to get to the hydrogen station? If you live next to one, no problem, but most people don’t. It’s likely people would have to drive 30+ min each way (and don’t forget the extra depreciation associated with all that extra driving). That’s a lot of time to waste.

            In comparison, charging with electricity takes up a few seconds of your time in most cases. It’s when you can’t charge at home/work/store/movies that it costs you any time. But even then look at the recharge rates a Tesla Supercharger can achieve (170 mi in 30 min). It’s not that much worse than hydrogen.

            Don’t think it’s one of the other. Each will fill it’s own niche. For example, I don’t see airplanes every running on batteries due to weight, but they certainly could run on hydrogen. Conversely, there’s almost no reason for a commuting car to run on hydrogen given where we already are on battery tech.

            “The consumer won’t care if energy went to waste, they just want to get back on the road.”
            – That’s not the problem. Cost is the problem. Someone has to pay for all that lost energy, and that someone is the end customer. The question is: “How much more are customers willing to pay to drive *every* mile to be able to possibly refuel more quickly when necessary?” Will it be 4x, 6x, 10x? Even with hydrogen from natural gas, it’s going to be in the 4x-6x range compared to electricity. For hydrogen from electrolysis, that number could easily jump to 10x.

            We live in a walmart society. Don’t underestimate the power of the almighty dollar.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “We live in a walmart society. Don’t underestimate the power of the almighty dollar.”

            Yeah. The price of gasoline is down and people have more money left over to spend. And where do they spend it?

            They’re flocking to Wal-Mart.

          • 0 avatar

            Hey Redav,

            No need to tell me how it only takes 3 seconds to recharge an EV at home. I know, I drive one. They are great, and clearly the future.

            I also see the drawbacks to EV’s as well. Sitting outside Nissan HQ each morning for 20 minutes rapid charging gets tiresome after a while. There is a speed advantage to refueling with hydrogen and Toyota will leverage that as much as they possibly can. The race is on. I believe and hope EV’s will win in the end, but there are many who want to see it play out differently.

            Sure the public will be willing to pay for convenience of quick refueling. This is the land of instant gratification.

            Musk is on record at the battery swap presentation last year saying that you can recharge for free forever or pay for the convenience of a battery swap. (The swap isn’t available yet, but will be before they lose their ZEV credits for not implementing the tech yet.)

            Convenience stores charge more for the same item as is available at the grocery store the other side of the road. Still sell stuff.

            Solar BTW is beginning to win contracts in the US for wholesale supply of electricity to utilities when going up against the usual suspects and coming in *cheaper*. It’s gonna happen, Germany anticipated the direction things are moving in and committed to it early.

          • 0 avatar
            WheelMcCoy

            @redav – “– Fine–big oil doesn’t hate EVs. Being in the business, I call BS.”

            Big oil doesn’t necessarily hate EVs, but I’d guess big oil prefers the fuel cell. Fuel cells are better for business and they delay the transition to EVs.

            Also, I seriously doubt big oil thinks of themselves as big energy. If that were true, they would be subsidizing the super charger network with Tesla, and ushering a new future, now. But they’re not. They’d also be spending more than 2% of revenues on renewable and alternative fuels. But they don’t. It’s hard for big anything to readjust their operations and relationships.

  • avatar
    mcs

    I still can’t get past the fact that the hydrogen tanks are 10,000 psi. What happens if there is a multi-car accident in a long tunnel. What happens if the gas tank on an ICE car breaks open and catches the Mirai on fire. I doubt that tank would survive a fire.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      If your regular ICE car is standing in a puddle of flaming gasoline, then things don’t look so good for you, anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        That’s right. Hydrogen is no more dangerous than gasoline. However, we are so accustomed to gasoline that we are complacent to its hazards.

        • 0 avatar
          WheelMcCoy

          @redav – “Hydrogen is no more dangerous than gasoline. However, we are so accustomed to gasoline that we are complacent to its hazards.”

          I’d argue that gasoline right now is less dangerous only because emergency personnel are better trained to handle gasoline emergencies. After a car accident, part of the safety protocol is to drain the gas tank. But how do we safely discharge the batteries in an EV?

          Similarly, for a fuel cell, how do we safely handle the hydrogen? And if ammonia takes off, how do we handle that?

          • 0 avatar

            One would not ‘drain the EV Battery’ at the scene of an accident. Your trying to apply gasoline procedures to BEV vehicles.

            The emergency procedure for a BEV is to pull the high voltage emergency disconnect switch before cutting up the vehicle to free occupants.

            You are right that emergency personnel are familiar with gasoline cars, but unfamiliar with alternative fuel vehicles. Despite the training they have been getting, that is not a substitute for field experience. Unfortunately that ‘field experience’ will result in injury or death of the emergency service personnel. It’ll even out in time, but yes there is an increase risk of mistakes being made at the scene of an accident. BEV’s are inherently safer so collateral damage to personnel should go down despite the increased risk of errors.

            The biggest issue with BEV’s is that the emergency disconnect is not in a standard location. As a result the disconnect may not get pulled putting the emergency crews at higher risk of electrocution.

            BEV Batteries are drained flat after the wrecked vehicle has been recovered to a safe location which is done by those knowledgeable in the procedure. The famous ‘volt fire’ was due to a crash testing facility not draining the battery flat before throwing it onto the scrap heap.

    • 0 avatar

      Hydrogen fuel tanks have been made perfectly safe just like nuclear power stations.

      What could possibly go wrong?

  • avatar
    Hummer

    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

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      “a slightly altered Corolla”

      Hyde was a slightly altered Jekyl.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes it never ceases to amaze me that when a new technology gives birth so many are concerned how it looks.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Honda had the good sense to make the Clarity a nice-looking car.

        Tesla produced the Roadster, Model S, and soon the Model X.

        The Leaf resembles a frog, but some people find that oddly cute.

        But the Murai looks like a duck boat – hardly a good way to promote your Hail Mary pass for new technology.

        “http://www.strangevehicles.com/images/content/104859.jpg”

      • 0 avatar
        wmba

        @ JPWhite:

        Are you saying, with no logic that I can discern, but feel free to enlighten me, that this vehicle looks the way it does because it is a fuel cell vehicle?

        Time to adjust your specs, sir. A more ridiculous observation would be hard to make. Advanced engineering, based on the shaky premise in this case of blue-sky dreaming about a hydrogen economy, does not require that the builder vomit mis-shapen nightmares on the landscape to prove it’s all new.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    Sooo…can we label this a “fleet queen” now?

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    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.

  • avatar
    Eyeflyistheeye

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Yes, congratulations, you are the only one

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      I actually really like the side view, particularly the restraint with the beltline not rising into the obligatory estrous rump of almost everything else. And the D-pillar is……………

      Nah, screw this. It’s uglier than Pelosi’s soul.

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      I actually really like the s1de view, particularly the restraint with the beltline’s not rising into the obligatory estrous rump of almost everything else. And the D-pillar is……………

      Nah, screw this. It’s uglier than Pelosi’s soul.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • KOKing: 72 was a half-year for the Datsun; the (mechanically pretty identical initially) 620 was a mid-year...
  • NormSV650: Honda’s Takata is your momma!
  • PeriSoft: I agree with a couple of other posters here: Genesis G90. Get a new one for the price of a year old MB, 5...
  • Michael S6: Ultimately it is the quality and performance of the product that matters, not the name. Cadillac is...
  • Art Vandelay: “these junk solid-state things.” LOL…My Pioneer SX-1980 Amplifier My Dad got new in...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States