Toyota To Select Dealers: Stop Delivering The Mirai, There Is Nowhere To Refuel

2 years ago by Jay Cole 132

Toyota Has Decided Their Should Be Actual Hydrogen Refueling Stations Near Where The Mirai Is Sold...makes sense to us

Toyota Has Decided There Should Be Hydrogen Refueling Stations Near Where The Mirai Is Sold…makes sense to us

Looking Good Inside The Toyota Mirai

Looking Good Inside The Toyota Mirai

Over the past year or so, we have chronicled the somewhat rocky path of Toyota’s fuel cell vehicle, the Mirai, into the United States – more specifically, into California.

Years ago, California was chosen for the launch of the Mirai due to the expected future presence of hydrogen infrastructure, and also of course for regulatory/acceptance issues.

However, it turned out that at one to three million dollars a station, and with regulatory/site certification hurdles to clear, the infrastructure failed to show up before the Mirai did itself.

As a result, just 3 to 5 public stations were able to refuel the Mirai in the state operating at any one time by the end of last year – and over that same time, Toyota made the Mirai available (from September) from only eight locations where this thin infrastructure could cope…or hopefully soon cope.

Not so much.

Temporary Toyota Hydrogen Stations Have Limited Capacities For Refueling, And Can Only Fill The Mirai Halfway

Temporary Toyota Hydrogen Stations Have Limited Capacities For Refueling, And Can Only Fill The Mirai Halfway

In some of those locations (why half?), Toyota ultimately had to put in place a temporary hydrogen refueling station to service demand.

Even at that, Mirai owners have to pre-book visits to receive half fills to their tanks at these temporary stations, which is good for ~150 miles of range (The temporary units are only capable of dispensing hydrogen at 5000 psi, or 350 BAR).

Now, Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota North America, has a solution in those places where the Mirai can’t refuel easily, or perhaps where those temporary stations are now over-run with the 72 Mirai that have flown off the shelf in 2015.

Stop selling them.

From the side-lines of the 2016 Automotive News World Congress, the Toyota boss said:

“It is not a stop-sale, we have just asked (the dealers) not to make deliveries until we have a station open.”

Mike Sullivan (AKA LACarGuy), Owner Of Several High Profile Dealerships, Has Been Asked To Temporarily Not Sell The Mirai From His Toyota Of Santa Monica Store

Mike Sullivan (AKA LACarGuy), Owner Of Several High Profile Dealerships, Says Deliveries Are Still Very Much Underway In Santa Monica

Hrm, yeah, that is kind of what a stop sale is Jim.

During his live speech at the event he was a little less direct:

“There are fewer stations than we would have preferred right now.”

Update: Mr. Lentz said that one such station who was asked to stop sales was in Santa Monica, however after being in tough with Mike Sullivan (of LACarGuy fame), that was not the case.  Mike noted they delivered 3 this week.

It had earlier been projected by the California Energy Commission that ~53 odd hydrogen refueling stations would be operation in California by the end of 2015.

Toyota Offered This List Of Active and Planned Hydrogen Stations In California Last Fall (click to enlarge)

Toyota Offered This List Of Active and Planned Hydrogen Stations In California Last Fall (click to enlarge)

Toyota has obviously re-assessed the situation and Mr. Lentz offers this new hope:

“I’m pretty confident by the end of the year we’re going to get to 48. It’s just growing pains.”

With one of the largest criticisms/hold backs of plug-in technology being the availability of charging infrastructure  (despite tens of thousands of public charging stations, and billions of standard receptacles across the country), this glacier-like roll out of hydrogen refueling station may hasten the demise of the latest ‘fuel cell revolution’, before the technology even gets a chance to prove itself on its own merits.

Wards Auto

 

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132 responses to "Toyota To Select Dealers: Stop Delivering The Mirai, There Is Nowhere To Refuel"

  1. Mark Kane says:

    8)

    1. Rick Danger says:

      😎

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        Can we please put a permanent stop sale on all residential fuel cell vehicle sales?

        I can see potential utility in fuel cells for large trucks/buses (though even there I prefer CNG).

        In the passenger segment, it seems like battery electric vehicles are really the best solution.

        1. SJC says:

          Sell them in southern California, there are 40 hydrogen fueling stations in operation or soon will be.

          1. kdawg says:

            LOL OK. “Growing Pains”. I got a feeling the lyrics to this song is what the oil companies are saying to Toyota.

            “Show me that smile again. (Show me that smile)
            Don’t waste another minute on your cryin’.
            We’re nowhere near the end (nowhere near)
            The best is ready to begin.

            Oooohhh. As long as we got each other
            We got the world spinnin right in our hands.
            Baby you and me, we gotta be
            The luckiest dreamers who never quit dreamin’.

            As long as we keep on givin’
            we can take anything that comes our way
            Baby, rain or shine, all the time
            We got each other, sharin’ the laughter and love.”

            https://youtu.be/liFmMcmigsQ

          2. Fail Cells says:

            no where even remotely true, but reality never gets in the way of the fail cell crowd.

  2. Ash09 says:

    Suddenly plug-in vehicles don’t seem like such a bad idea…

  3. Scott says:

    For fox sake, put a plug on it Mr. Toyoda

    1. Aaron says:

      Ugly appearance aside, I wonder how the Mirai would do as a pure EV. Get rid of the fuel cells and hydrogen tanks, enlarge the battery to 30+kWh, add J1772 and CHAdeMO plugs… now you can sell it!

      1. Seth says:

        Since the Mirai is over 1850kg, and a Bolt with 60kWh is 1650kg, it only makes sense to add to make it 200kg lighter and make it travel 200 miles, more then half a tank of hydrogen.

    2. I suspect that Toyota would not get the 9 CARB-ZEV fast refueling credits if the car could not refuel to 95% in 15 minutes.

      That’s what would happen if they added a slow charge cord and/or a larger battery. It would disqualify Toyota from earning the equivalent of 9 * $4000 = $36,000 PER CAR !!!($4000 is estimated CARB-ZEV market value).

      Toyota doesn’t do hydrogen because they want to be our friends… they do it to qualify them to sell hundreds of thousands of gasoline powered cars in California and other CARB states.

      1. Stimpy says:

        Why does CARB still believe in and spend money on hydrogen?

        1. BraveLilToaster says:

          Because water comes out of the tailpipe.

          Ignore the fact that scads of electricity and natural gas goes in the other end.

      2. EVdrive says:

        It’s so pathetic that Toyota killed the Rav 4 EV. They should have invested their Mirai budget in EV’s. I used to love Toyota, now I despise them for their anti BEV stance.

        This hydrogen disaster is also the fault of CARB. Once EV’s became viable, we should have tapered the investments in both California’s Hydrogen infrastructure and ZEV Credits for for Hydrogen cars and invested the money in BEV infrastructure.

        1. Fail Cells says:

          +1

        2. EV AZ says:

          I can only imagine the BEV that Toyota could build. If they spent half the resources on an BEV that they have blown on the FCEV.

      3. The Woodster says:

        Tony, does Toyota actually have to sell them to get the credits? Or, do the credits count on the production end?

        1. It must be a sale or 36 month lease.

      4. EVJerry says:

        Ah,the carbon credit game playing! NOW the Toyota FooL Cell ploy is starting to make some Gads Cent$.

  4. EVcarNut says:

    THIS IS A RETARDED CAR, A RETARDED IDEA, & WE’RE RETARDED PEOPLE BEATING A RETARDED “DEAD HORSE”..SURELY FOR SOME HIDDEN AGENDA THAT WE HAVE N0 KNOWLEDGE 0f…

    1. ffbj says:

      “I was convicted by a faceless people for a crime of which I had no knowledge and certainly did not commit. But, what of that?”

      Firesign Theatre: “How can you be two places at once, when you’re not anywhere at all?”

      1. Kevin C. says:

        Brilliant observation.
        Forward into the past…

      2. Rick Danger says:

        I spell my name… wait! I DO spell my name Danger 😎

        1. Aaron says:

          I thought Danger was your middle name… 😉

    2. Dragon says:

      Er… the hidden agenda is pretty obvious. Delay battery EVs with the hope of fast refueling hydrogen “some day” and give big oil a new business opportunity since most hydrogen is generated using natural gas. Notice the station in the photo had the Shell logo on it? Yeah, let’s keep supporting poor old Shell and friends with $46.6 million in California taxpayer money spent on hydrogen stations.

      1. Forever green says:

        Dragon, +1

      2. The total amount of support from the state of California for hydrogen infrastructure is $20 million per year over five years, or $100 million.

        That, of course, doesn’t include the millions of dollars previously spent over decades.

        1. EVcarNut says:

          Can You Say “FIASCO” Boys & Girls …That is The Word of the Decades @ Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.. ..Btw…Mr Rogers had an EV on his Show Back in the early 1980’s

        2. Nick says:

          Oh wow. That’s a lot.

          Disappointing.

      3. jelloslug says:

        If you look through Toyota’s PR photos of the Mirai you will see lots of Shell logos in the background.

      4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Spot on, Dragon.

        Shell Hydrogen is one of the supporters of the California Fuel Cell Partnership, which apparently is the primary source of lobbying for the “hydrogen highway” in California.

        1. So – Let Toyota ‘SHELL’ out the Cash to make this work!

          Anyway – Tesla Built the First RAV4 EV in less time than Toyota could schedule a meeting with all the Decision makers and come to a decision on what to do next! (They said so themselves, at the time the first copy was done!)

          1. let’s not kid ourselves on the second generation Toyota RAV4 EV it cost Toyota $40,000 per car just for the EV drivetrain ($100 million divided by 2600 cars = $38,461).

            The vehicle itself is $10k-$15k, then dealer overhead flooring costs, advertising, warranty expenses, blah blah blah

            The car could never be a financial success for Toyota. To build the same car today with $200 per kWh battery cost with a 200 mile range would require a 70 to 80 kWh battery or about $14,000-$16,000. Yes, it could be done if Toyota built all the drivetrain in house for an upscale compact SUV that would sell in the $50-$60,000 range.

            But, then the question remains about charging infrastructure. I suspect Toyota, much like GM, would take the same idea of not wanting to be involved in infrastructure in any way.

            In addition, I seriously doubt Toyota will change the hydrogen game before 2020, since the Japanese government has all their bets on displaying these hydrogen cars for the 2020 Olympics. They are paying big money to make sure that happens.

            So hybrids and just enough hydrogen cars to keep the gasoline car money rolling in our what the future is for Toyota.

      5. Daniel says:

        I can’t agree more. You kidding half a tank? After paying that price? Doesn’t make any sense for cars.

        I see some applications for trucks, buses and trains that can be refueled at night.

        Also the h2 should be extracted from renewable sources, not just big oil 2.0.

    3. There’s no surprise of the many reasons Toyota is doing hydrogen.

      First and foremost is the ability to capitalize on a technology that is slowing down the move away from other-than-gasoline-powered-cars.

      They are experts at making money, and building cars. They do these things first, and if that requires them to sell a handful of cars in California only, so that they can continue to sell hundreds of thousands of profitable gasoline cars, then that’s exactly what they will do.

    4. Mark Abramowitz says:

      You’ve never been in one, have you?

      I own one… it’s an incredible EV.

  5. Get Real says:

    Houston, we have a problem (that Coyota not surprisingly apparently didn’t have the foresight to anticipate).

  6. Brian says:

    Of course this isn’t a stop-sale. Toyota will be happy to take their money and not deliver… for who knows how long… if ever.

  7. goodbyegascar says:

    Duh

  8. Trollnonymous says:

    lol……Fools Cell.

  9. Ocean Railroader says:

    As Nession said from the Simpsons

    HA HA you got no gas stations for your car!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LM0CZZ9Uw8

    1. Ocean Railroader says:

      In the words of King Berry to guy on side of the highway.

      You Losers bought a car you can’t even refuel.

    2. Foo says:

      D’oh!

  10. David Murray says:

    I have no problem if Toyota wants to waste their money on this gamble. The only part that irritates me about it is that they seem to be doing it at the expense of their EV program. They could already have had some nice EVs and PHEVs on the road by now. But so far all we’ve gotten is a compliance RAV4 and a pathetic 11-mile PHEV.

    1. Ocean Railroader says:

      There going to get gored by the pack of Wolves Tesla and GM along with Nissan have unleashed.

      Nissan is currently funding the construction of most of the new Quick charger stations in Virginia at $45,000 to $55,000 eatch.

      1. Sting777 says:

        $50,000 vs $1,000,000.

        So, 20 EV stations vs. 1 hydrogen.
        The math is not in Toyota’s favor.

        1. The math his mouth most definitely in Toyotas favor; you just haven’t added up all the favors!

          1) $100,000 from California alone for hydrogen. We will be spending that money in our state of California whether Toyota ultimately delivers hydrogen cars, or not.

          2) Estimated $36,000 in revenue from the value of the CARB-ZEV credits

          3) Value of California paying for all these goodies while Toyota is moving their headquarters from California to Texas to escape California taxes (they must really smirk with this one!)

          4) Value of being allowed to sell hundreds of thousands of cars that they would not otherwise be allowed to sell, at the lowest possible entry point of a couple hydrogen cars.

          5) The value of slowing down the adoption of electric vehicles by taking taxpayer money that could otherwise be putting in a robust fast charging network, but instead is putting in $100 million of largely unused hydrogen junk. Watch the laughter when these stations become multimillion dollar albatrosses of tax-payer’s spending just to keep them operational. Remember, Toyota gets all those advantages, whether the infrastructure works or not. it’s a win-win for gasoline and major auto manufacturers.

          1. Speculawyer says:

            #3 really hurts. I wonder if California may be dragging their feet on approving, permitting, paying for, etc. these H2 stations.

            I hope they are slowing down on H2 support. Let Texas pay for H2 stations.

            1. Josh says:

              If H2 made sense, Exxon, Chevron, Valero, Hess, etc. would be making them multiply like rabbits.

              These companies are building new LNG export stations which cost $10B+, in order to expand the Natural Gas market. These companies just don’t see the potential in H2 vehicles.

      2. EVcarNut says:

        Very Nice EV….I love the Leaf IDS Concept. I Hope They stay Close To the Concept Design, They Will Sell A million in the 1st..yr if they bump Up The range to about 400 Miles PC.

    2. Foo says:

      Both Toyota and Honda.

      They were on top of it during the energy crisis of the 1970’s. They had exactly what people wanted, sold millions, and grabbed a huge slice of the American auto market for themselves.

      It seems they have forgotten that lesson.

      1. Don’t kid yourself; Toyota is selling exactly what people want and what they want is large minivans and pick up trucks that burn a lot of gas.

        People do not want electric vehicles and hydrogen cars… the sales prove that. What we have to do as EV advocates is to continually show how electric cars are the better choice in many situations today. Hopefully the cars and the infrastructure and improve in the future to make EVs the obvious choice.

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          Well said.

          Fully agree.

          But some can be said for “lack of good choices”.

          Tesla proved you can do it if you do it right.

          Customers don’t care if it is fueled with Mink oil, electricity, unicorn dust or corn husks.. They want something that is great in value, good size, good performance, reliable, safe and looks good.

          It is the just of automakers to deliver on those requirements that happens to be electric.

          Bolt is the first step. But why hasn’t GM releasing a Voltec based SUV or why hasn’t Nissan do the same with their Rouge or Pathfinder? Why hasn’t Ford extends the energi to their Escape?

          Those are the right questions to ask.

          Toyota is dragging its feet. Finally, it offered an Rav4 Hybrid and it is already selling relatively well with a great growth so far. Why doesn’t it offering a plugin version anymore?

          Automakers always makes excuses until Tesla proves them wrong.

          1. Josh says:

            “But why hasn’t GM releasing a Voltec based SUV or why hasn’t Nissan do the same with their Rouge or Pathfinder? Why hasn’t Ford extends the energi to their Escape?”

            Answer: Profit Margin of current offerings

  11. Acevolt says:

    It has a 1.6kWh battery and a output charge port. Maybe with an over the air software update, that output port could accept a charge and then you would have a EV with a 3 mile range! Better than nothing.

    1. Aaron says:

      Tesla has spoiled us. Over-the-air updates for car manufacturers with dealerships (e.g., everyone BUT Tesla) is not possible. It is apparently illegal — the dealerships must do the updates, otherwise it is seen as the manufacturer doing maintenance on their own vehicle. Yes, the same statutes that are used to prevent Tesla from selling vehicles in some states because it doesn’t have a dealership network prevent OTA updates for manufacturers WITH dealerships.

      1. Skryll says:

        LOL that so backfired ha ha ha

      2. Josh says:

        That is interesting. I have not heard that before. Thanks for sharing.

        Interesting the Ghosn just talked about that being part of Nissan’s future, required to improve resale value. How will they do it (in the US)?

        1. Mr. M says:

          Nissan send a programm with only a red button saying “update cars” to each dealer. OTA can be done by the dealer (by pressing the button).

    2. Stan says:

      Yes, Mirai has hidden ChaDeMo port in the trunk. I guess you can charge the minipack in less than a minute if you are lucky to have the station so close by. 🙂

    3. SJC says:

      FCVs should have more batteries to become FCEVs. Local trips are EV and long trips are FCV.

  12. bro1999 says:

    What a DISASTER (and I’m not even talking about the Mirai’s looks…which is a separate disaster)

    FOOL CELLS…the road to nowhere. What a joke.

  13. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…….

    As I told my Toyota rep that supported EV Fest 2012 with the PIP and a RAV4 EV on display, plug in vehicles are simpler, and a FCPHEV can do better than a straight FCV. It was a longer point, but that summarizes it.

  14. jelloslug says:

    I almost feel sorry for anyone that actually bought one va leasing it.

  15. Nelson says:

    Wonder what a disillusioned Mirai owner can get as trade in value towards the purchase of a Tesla or any other car for that matter?

    NPNS! SBF!
    Volt#671

  16. ffbj says:

    Growing Pains?

    1. jelloslug says:

      For there to be growing pains there needs to be growth.

      1. ffbj says:

        True, though I was thinking more along the lines of the Frakenstein’s monster. After rampaging through the village the Doctor turns to Igor and says: “Its just growing pains.”

        Later we see the villagers, armed with torches, axes, and pitchforks, to bring the misunderstood creature to justice.
        Toyota has created a monster, and as we all know, especially if you are from Japan: “Destroy All Monsters.”

      2. Jelloslug, you just outdid the funniest line Of the week I nominated earlier today. I nominate that quip as the funniest line of the month.

  17. bro1999 says:

    Can you file a lemon law claim for a Mirai?

    What’s the problem? “No where to refuel this #@%!$ car!”

  18. Speculawyer says:

    I didn’t think the launch of the Mirai would go well.

    Somehow, the launch has been even worse than I thought it would be.

    Anyone that was planning to privately invest in the refueling infrastructure has to be looking at those sales numbers and reconsidering things.

  19. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Totally as predicated. LOL.

  20. Rick Danger says:

    Thanks Jay, I needed this laugh! 😀

  21. Achmed says:

    What would be more dangerous when/if a terrorist self detonates:
    -A Petrol Station
    -A Hydrogen Station
    -A mains outlet in a parking lot

    Kinda makes you wonder.

  22. OB1 says:

    Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe it is not Toyota fault that lazy people will not pick it up and put it in car.

    1. Stephen says:

      I hope that’s sarcasm

    2. I wonder how prevalent electricity is in the universe?

      This reminds me of the woman told me that God gave us gasoline, so we should just use gasoline, as if electricity did not exist

      1. Aaron says:

        I wonder what the taste of her morning toast is with her gasoline-powered toaster! 😮

      2. dRanger says:

        “…God gave us gasoline..” Was that in the same package when he gave us smallpox, cancer and head lice? Shouda read the fine print.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Hmmm, no, God gave us petroleum.

          John D. Rockefeller gave us gasoline.

          1. ModernMarvelFan says:

            JDR didn’t invent gasoline…

            JDR just directed his engineers to find a new use for it since it was a waste or byproduct of the refining process.

            Ford made gasoline popular with affordable ICE engines that run on cheap gas.

            ICE started as running on diesel or veggie oils…

            1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              ModernMarvelFan said:

              “JDR didn’t invent gasoline…”

              I didn’t say he did.

              “JDR just directed his engineers to find a new use for it since it was a waste or byproduct of the refining process.”

              …after which, he turned gasoline from a waste product into a highly profitable commercial product. That’s why I said “John D. Rockefeller gave us gasoline.”

              But thanks for expanding on that, MMF.

        2. That brought me to tears, dRanger. Glad no one was in the room at the time, it would have been hard to explain.

      3. Speculawyer says:

        Well they both have the same advantage and disadvantage . . . they are both prevalent all over the universe. However, both are found in their low energy state such that energy must be input into them to get them into a high potential energy state so we can use them.

    3. Stimpy says:

      Yeah it’s too bad it has to be converted to electricity to be usable. If only the car ran directly on hydrogen…

  23. Andrew says:

    It just writes itself, doesn’t it?

    1. Anon says:

      Beautifully. 🙂

  24. Huffster says:

    I love that an EV can be always get fuel (electricity) from my own home garage while I sleep. No hydrogen station in my garage though. Ha!

  25. Bob Wilson says:

    I always figured Toyota would sell them to ‘friends’ for CARB credits. The car would be mysteriously lost in an accident and ‘shipped’ as scrap . . . only to return with a new VIN number . . . to be sold again.

    Oh, this isn’t a VW thread?

    Bob Wilson, Huntsville, AL

  26. James says:

    Hydrogen. Always tomorrow’s fuel. They should call it the Mañana instead of the Mirai.

  27. Lou says:

    You know, I have no axe to grind against Toyota, nor FCV’s. We don’t(and won’t)even have them here in PA. But this has got to be the biggest scam and I cannot understand how they pulled this one off. It’s an absolute crime, and I sincerely mean that.

    Lou

    1. Speculawyer says:

      I don’t know if I would call it a scam . . . Toyota is probably going to lose more money than anyone else. It is just not good thinking.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        The scam is not Toyota selling “fool cell” cars. The scam is Big Oil successfully lobbying CARB and the State of California to spend scores or hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on building public hydrogen fueling stations, while advancing Big Oil’s agenda of diverting attention and resources away from developing plug-in EVs.

  28. Steve says:

    Not a lot of sympathy for Toyota over here on http://www.insideevs.com... not surprising!

    Meanwhile over on http://www.insidehcevs.com they are still drooling at the concept of high-performance, capacious, economical and environmentally-clean driving, with just water coming dribbling of the car.

    1. Foo says:

      Funny, both the car and its proponents drool. Very expensive drool, though.

  29. Alan says:

    Elon must have spat his drink out when he saw this !

    1. sven says:

      Was he drinking the Tesla Kool-aid?

      1. jelloslug says:

        No, the tears of FC proponents.

        1. sven says:

          D’oh! Burn.

        2. Phr3d says:

          nice one..

  30. Steve says:

    The sooner Toyota gets on the BEV bandwagon the better.

    I can only imagine the money they’re sinking into the former LFA factory, and basically making no profit whatsoever with less than 100 cars sold, most of which are with Toyota dealers.

    One of the reasons that things are going so slowly with the refuelling stations is that they’re paid for with government money. If Toyota simply sank their own money into putting these stations in, things could go SO much faster. Witness Tesla’s efforts to install a 135kW charging station network around the world, in what, twenty countries now? Can you imagine if they were leaving it to governments to design and install them? Oh yeah… Chademo.

    1. Steve says:

      If Toyota’s HCEV division was a private company, they would have run out of money long ago and folded. Luckily they have the backing of millions of dollars of funds Toyota has built up by selling fossil fuel cars over the years. One wonders how long Toyota will allow this wastage to go on…

      1. dRanger says:

        “One wonders how long …” Just as long as CARB continues to hand out credits like Halloween candy, and not a second longer.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          I’m not so sure. After all, Toyota is a Japanese company, and the Japanese government is pushing the boondoggle of the “hydrogen highway” even harder than the State of California is.

          However, I can well believe that if (hopefully when, not if) CARB revises its rules to disallow ZEV credits for hydrogen cars, Toyota will immediately move to limit the Mirai to only fleet sales in the U.S.

    2. Speculawyer says:

      Meh. Let them reap what they sowed.

      I’m fine with the biggest car maker falling flat on their face such that other car companies get to leapfrog them.

  31. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Would it be inappropriate to engage in schadenfreude at this point? 😉

    * * * * * * *

    The article ends:

    “…this glacier-like roll out of hydrogen refueling station may hasten the demise of the latest ‘fuel cell revolution’, before the technology even gets a chance to prove itself on its own merits.”

    I don’t see any merits.

    There was never any rational reason to put any hydrogen fueled car into production. The impracticality of the tech was well understood from the various prototypes.

  32. Steve says:

    Toyota seems to be operating like I would expect GM to operate. Would anyone be surprised if they write a huge check and buy tesla to get the factory back? Maybe that was the plan all along but they knew tesla would get better tax breaks.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      I would be surprised.

      Elon Musk has made it quite clear he has no intention of selling Tesla at least until the Model ≡ is a going concern. Since Elon has proven more than once he’s willing to put his money where his mouth is, I think he’s quite serious about that.

      1. Someone out there says:

        Elon Musk only owns 27% of Tesla so if Toyota manages to get 51% from somewhere else he doesn’t have much choice.

        1. jelloslug says:

          He will still be in charge even in the event of a hostile takeover.

          1. Actually, no, the new majority owners could kick Mr. Musk out.

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          With a market cap of $26.24 billion, I very seriously doubt any auto maker can get the funds to do a hostile takeover. It would have to be a company with enormous amounts of liquid funds just lying around waiting to be invested, like Apple or Exxon.

          I also very seriously doubt any auto maker would want to spend that kind of money to acquire Tesla, so long as its stock remains greatly overvalued. That looks like a poor investment from the viewpoint of a cost/benefit analysis.

          1. sven says:

            I guess you never heard of a leveraged buyout. Virtually all buyouts are leveraged buyouts, and a good deal of them are highly-leveraged buyouts.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leveraged_buyout

          2. Someone out there says:

            True, I don’t think it’s likely to happen either.

    2. Goodbyegascar says:

      Tesla should wait until they can purchase another Toyota factory at fire sale prices.

      At this rate, it’s almost inevitable.

      1. Skryll says:

        LOL… but on a positive note, I did see a Mirai cruising with its beautiful lights on 2 days ago on the east bay in northern california, so it can’t have been out of ‘gas’…

  33. evDude says:

    Am I the only person thinking that owning one of these cars must be an horrible experience?

    These things are expensive and once you have one charging it requires careful planning and restricts you to certain areas in California only. In a few years these cars these will go the way of HD-DVD..:

    1. jelloslug says:

      It’s not like this exact same thing has not already plagued the Hyundai ix35 since day one. How anyone though that adding a handful more cars would suddenly make someone want to spend millions and millions of dollars to make almost nothing a day back on that investment.

  34. Orygun EV driver says:

    Much of the push to Hydrogen is from the State of California (actually CARB). They offer greater incentives for fuel cells and are in fact in the process of phasing out/reducing credits for BEV’s. Unless something has changed since I last looked, CARB credits will no longer be available for out of State sales of BEV’s after 2017(?). Which means that sales in OR, MA, etc will no longer count.

    1. That’s not entirely correct. In 2017, what will happen is a change to the “traveling provision” which previously to 2018 means that auto manufacturers can sell all their zero emission vehicles only California.

      That is exactly what Toyota did with the RAV4 EV, and managed to miraculously be able to do with the hydrogen car. Even though Toyota is moving their USA headquarters from California to Texas, they still manage to have huge influence over the state regulators to permit hydrogen cars to get:

      1) 9 (nine) CARB-ZEV credits versus 3 or 4 typically for any Electric Vehicle

      2) sales of hydrogen cars only in California, while EV’s must be sold in all the other CARB states.

  35. Someone out there says:

    Are there still cars to buy? I thought they were “flying off the shelves”?

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      That shelf they were flying off turned out to be much smaller than Toyota thought. 😉

  36. HVACman says:

    To avoid this problem, the California Energy Commission awarded major grants to several private vendors to install and operate these stations with time limits – the later the stations opened for retail sale, the less the grant and the less the operating subsidy.

    100% subsidy/$300K funding – open by 10/31/15
    80% subsidy/$240K funding – open by 2/29/16
    60% subsidy/$150K funding – open by 10/31/16

    I wonder if there will be “extensions” since the 100% deadline has passed, and the 80% deadline approaches and it appears almost no stations will be ready.

    1. Stan says:

      Oh, this is still a lot of money!

  37. cfbcfb says:

    It could be worse. The DOD spent $43M to build a 500k natural gas filling station in Afghanistan.

    There are no natural gas vehicles anywhere in the area to use it.

  38. Stan says:

    I figured it out. Those who bought Mirai are collectors of rare vehicles. Who knows what will be their value in the future when only so few of them will be sold?

  39. Jonathan B says:

    Just give up. Fuel Cells will never be a thing. At least with an EV you can charge it anywhere. Toyota bet on the wrong horse here.

  40. Martin T. says:

    Rode as a passenger in a Mirai by Toyota at the Mega Centre in Tokyo.
    A real game changer the vehicle itself is for Toyota.

    I personally do not agree with Hydrogen fuel as batteries are currently the only efficient energy end solution.
    But being driven around by the supervisor I have to say how impressed that Toyota has changed direction massively and made a very good car indeed.

    I drove the 2016 Prius (same family architecture as the Mirai) and was really impressed. Huge leaps forward for Toyota compared to the old Prius PHV I drove back to back that night.
    The styling of the Mirai and the Prius 2016 is Japanese Bold Futuristic I guess a tad robot / cartoon inspired for local consumption.
    I get it, but also understand Western markets may not and find it way over the top.
    But then the Japanese and myself are in shock to find 7 cup holders for 2 front passengers in a USA built Tundra V8 truck each market has their own issues lol!

    The great news is the 2016 Prius in Japan can be optioned with rear electric on demand 4WD for snow conditions called E-Four.
    Just wish they would sell a proper plug in long range 2016 Prius with a decent battery pack – it would definitely be a great contender in the EV stakes then.

    How about it Toyota? A Great drive the new 2016 Prius and would be tops with a good plug in :-)

  41. Dr Dauger says:

    Someone ought to make a parody of Lexus anti BEV troll ads:

    http://insideevs.com/lexus-anti-ev-ad-lives/

    Emphasizing how this development exacerbates the range anxiety of Mirai users.