Discusses Free Fuel for Initial Customers in California
Toyota took its Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle to ACT Expo in Dallas. The car goes on sale in California in October at eight Northern and Southern California dealerships, and in some Northeastern U.S. states in 2016-17.
“We’re here because fleets can play a big role with the launch of this product” – just as they did when the Prius was introduced Toyota Motor Sales national brand manager for fuel cell vehicles, Ed LaRocque told F&F-powered ShowTimes.
The vehicle shown in Texas last week was a “close to production” model, LaRocque said, missing only some interior finishing and display features. The Mirai, which Toyota calls the first commercial launch in the fuel cell vehicle market, will retail for around $57,000, before incentives, and be offered for lease at $499 a month.
Fueling Networks Developing on Both Coasts
Toyota talked up its 5-minute hydrogen fill time and is planning to offer “free fuel to our first customers,” LaRocque says, although details are still being worked out.
California gets the vehicle first because of its Zero Emission Vehicle regulation and its commitment of up to $20 million a year for ten years to build hydrogen fueling stations. Toyota is working with FirstElement Fuel on the California fueling station network (F&F, August 5, 2014).
In the Northeast, Toyota is partnered with Paris-headquartered Air Liquide to build twelve 700-bar fueling stations in five states along the New York to Boston corridor: New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island (F&F, November 17). The first stations are to come online in early 2016.
3,000 Mirai Cars for the U.S.
Toyota intends to make available 3,000 Mirai units in the U.S. market through 2017; a production backlog in Japan, where Mirai has been on sale since January, is due to component availability, La Rocque says.
Meanwhile, Toyota has tacitly confirmed that it will end production of the current Prius Plug-In Hybrid in June. “We are hard at work developing the next generation Prius Plug-in Hybrid,” marketing rep Nathan Kokes wrote on the Prius Chat blog.
Mirai, in Japanese, means “future.”
The next ACT Expo has been scheduled for May 2-5, 2016 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, Calif.
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Source: Fleets & Fuels at ACT Expo 2015 in Dallas