Behind The Scenes Of Toyota Mirai Production – Only 3 Made Per Day – Videos + Images

FEB 25 2015 BY MARK KANE 45

Toyota Mirai production line: FC Stack installation

Toyota Mirai production line: FC Stack installation

Toyota just released a set of photos and videos from the Mirai production line in Toyota City, Japan.

Pace of work is measured at just three cars per day, so we’ll round it to 1,000 Mirai built per year.

The whole process seems very cautious, meticulous and focused on quality, which we’re certain leads, at least in part, to the high price of the car ($57,500 before up to $13,000 incentives).

“Toyota ushered in a new era in vehicle technology last November with the launch of production of its Mirai hydrogen fuel cell-powered saloon. The factory chosen for the task is the Motomachi plant in Toyota City, home to many landmark models, most recently the Lexus LFA supercar.

The small but dedicated facility is charged with producing Mirai with the same care and attention to detail that was paid to the LFA. Production of the Lexus V10 coupe was limited to just 500 examples, with the last model coming off the line just over two years ago; Mirai is being manufactured at a rate of around three cars a day.

A new series of short films goes behind the scenes at Motomachi to reveal key stages in the production process, right through to the final inspection every car undergoes before leaving the plant.

Production started at Motomachi in 1959 and in its 56-year history it has produced such renowned Toyotas as Publica, Corona, Cresta, Soarer, Supra and RAV4. Mirai is now on sale in Japan and will be introduced in limited numbers to the UK and other selected European markets during 2015.”

If you’ve ever wondered how hydrogen fuel cell cars are produced, these images and videos from the Japanese automaker will not disappoint:

Toyota Mirai production line: FC Stack installation

Toyota Mirai production line: FC Stack installation

Toyota Mirai production line: FC Stack installation

Toyota Mirai production line: FC Stack installation

Toyota Mirai production line: FC Stack installation

Toyota Mirai production line: FC Stack installation

Toyota Mirai production line: quality gate

Toyota Mirai production line: quality gate

Toyota Mirai production line: quality gate

Toyota Mirai production line: quality gate

Toyota Mirai production line: quality gate

Toyota Mirai production line: quality gate

Toyota Mirai production line: quality gate

Toyota Mirai production line: quality gate

Toyota Mirai production line: quality control and inspection

Toyota Mirai production line: quality control and inspection

Toyota Mirai production line: quality control and inspection

Toyota Mirai production line: quality control and inspection

Toyota Mirai production line: quality control and inspection

Toyota Mirai production line: quality control and inspection

Toyota Mirai production line: quality control and inspection (hydrogen leak testing)

Toyota Mirai production line: quality control and inspection (hydrogen leak testing)

“Before each Toyota Mirai body is brought to the former LFA Works assembly line, it is painted at the mass production line at Motomachi Plant. The vehicle doors are then removed to enable more efficient interior work for Toyota’s highly skilled craftspeople, as well as preventing doors from being damaged. This video also showcases: wire harness, dash silencer, brake fluid tank, rear combination lamp, instrument panel, main battery, roof lining, and rear bumper installation.”

“The Toyota Mirai fuel cell sedan features a CFRP Stack Frame which is produced at the assembly area of Toyota’s Motomachi Plant, formerly the LFA Works. Following the installation of the fuel cell stack, the boost converter, hydrogen tank and tubes are fitted to the vehicle. This video also shows the hydrogen leak test which is performed using helium. Next, the vehicle’s fuel cell stack and hydrogen tank are installed at the same time, followed by preparation of the electric motor and marriage of the air compressor to the fuel cell stack. Before the chassis assembly is complete, the drive shaft, front axle, inverter, water heating unit, high voltage cable, front suspension, motor, rear axle, front bumper and wheels are installed.

Note: CFRP = carbon fiber-reinforced plastic”

“The final processes before the Toyota Mirai fuel cell sedan rolls off the assembly line are the installation and assembly of the external power supply system, vehicle interior, engine bay, windshield, and rear windows. The glue used to affix the windows to the frame is 8 mm high and 12 mm wide, applied by highly skilled craftspeople at a consistent rate. This video also features the final interior trim installations, including: seats, doors, steering wheel and inverter cover. An ignition check is then performed on the vehicle before it is send for final inspection.”

“Detailed quality control and inspection is performed on the Toyota Mirai before it leaves the Motomachi Plant, on its way to customers. Toyota specialists use both visual and tactile inspection to ensure the vehicle is of the highest quality and without any defect before leaving the factory.”

“The assembly line for the Toyota Mirai is divided into three main sections: trim, chassis/fuel cell assembly, and final assembly. In each section, there are sub-assembly areas for parts installation. This video shows an overview of the production line as well as the parts selection process located close to the assembly line.”

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45 Comments on "Behind The Scenes Of Toyota Mirai Production – Only 3 Made Per Day – Videos + Images"

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Wow! Look at em go!

3 per day is 3 too many.

+1

I feel like they have to be moving out with this as some sort of joke.

I really like the outstanding quality control of making a fool car. This is totally surreal.

The Lexus LFA was a $375,000 car. That shows you how much money Toyota is losing on each Mirai.

Yep, no way they are making money on this car.

Even with all the Japanese government support, the economics must be terrible.

At what is it? 3 times the normal clean car credits in California, the car is probably saving them loads of cash.

The factory in which a car is built tells one next to nothing about the price of the car. One can only know what factory the car was made in.

That being said, the amount of human labor seen in the video means they are most likely losing a lot of money on each mirai.

Tl;dr: your conclusion has validity but your reasoning has flaws.

Wow- those hydrogen tanks take up a lot of space. They’re probably going to have to figure out a better way to handle the hydrogen storage in order to make a car with a decent amount of cargo space. After having an Acura TL where the rear seats didn’t fold down, my wife and I vowed to never buy a vehicle that doesn’t have fold down rear seats.

Has the Mirai undergone any government crash testing yet? I’m curious to see what can happen when those big pressurized hydrogen tanks rupture.

They don’t rupture. They are already at 10000 psi. And even if they do, hydrogen escapes quickly upward.

True. Here is an example of hydrogen gas escaping upwards:

Hard to See Through all that smoke… 🙂

Lets go straight for the clique:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindenburg_disaster#mediaviewer/File:Hindenburg_burning.jpg

Don’t you guys have a mechanical loom to attack with an axe somewhere?

Not to worry Scott…you can be the first to prove us wrong. That is, IF this physics experiment gone wrong makes it to viable production and IF the infrastructure for H2 ever develops. Sorry, I won’t be holding my breath…though perhaps my ears once crash testing begins!

Sadly for those imagining another /Hindenburg/ disaster, a rupturing “fool cell” fuel tank is very unlikely to result in a fiery explosion. H2 in the tank is highly compressed, so it will dissipate rapidly. More importantly, by the time the gas expands far enough to have enough air mixed with it to be combustible, it will have mostly dissipated. Plus, being much lighter than air, it rises rapidly. Overall, you’re probably in more danger of a fire resulting from a crash in a gasoline-powered car than a “fool cell” car.

The dangers of carrying compressed H2 have been highly exaggerated. We shouldn’t need to stoop to fear-mongering regarding hydrogen fuel. The -real- problems with it are more than enough to make it utterly impractical, for a number of reasons having nothing to do with safety.

Meant to add this, but I guess I used the wrong format for the link:

What you are witnessing is not a Hydrogen Deflagration, which occurs only at the speed of sound maximum.

Since this was faster than the speed of sound, it was something else.

Specifically, the video showed a minor
hydrogen deflagration followed by a HUGE Detonation. (Mach number (Ma) > 1).

One of the posters here who claimed to have a working knowledge of hydrogen said that overall, Hydrogen is just a bit safer than gasoline, and I have no reason to doubt what he said.

But, I still think these Hydrogen cars, for most countries are a bit of a joke.

Only in the most electricity – starved countries (and those without already a fine gasoline infrastructure) would his hydrogen car thing make the least bit of sense.. So possibly Japan and Viet-Nam, but not North America certainly.

“They don’t rupture.”

Love the use of an absolute here.

Incidentally, yes, hydrogen escapes upwards. Now, remind me again exactly where the tanks are? *cough* chassis *cough*

The bulk/complexity of the Mirai drive train and tanks is makes the Gen 2 Volt with ICE, drive train, battery, and charger look positively simple, compact, and inexpensive.
All of this H2 hardware and volume, plus the hydrogen fuel expense, just to get a “fast 300-mile refill”? Insane….

With the Tesla Model S P85D you drive in insane mode from time to time, with the Mirai you drive in insane mode all the time. Lol.

You may wonder why they test for leaks with Helium since it is much more expensive than Hydrogen?

Oh! Oh! I know! Is it because helium is maybe…just maybe…NOT flammable?!

I did not realize that there was a second hydrogen tank directly under the rear seat.

Now, to be honest, this is about as well protected a part of the car as there is. An intrusion significant enough to cut through it (a high speed lateral impact), would most likely be fatal.

But still, having 10K psi just an inch or two below your thighs just doesn’t sit right with me, so to speak. There are some crash geometries where one or two passengers can survive this kind of impact, but if the tank explodes they are all toast.

not only the passengers, but neighboring cars that just happens to be in the vicinity would also be affected by the shockwave from the explosive decompression.

And the shrapnel from the damaged tank.

These kinds of woven tanks splits, they do not fracture. Still a very deadly shockwave though.

Perhaps not, but I would expect high velocity debris even from woven tanks.

The shockwave would turn the sheetmetal above the tank, and below the seat, into shrapnel, even if the tank itself doesn’t.

Plus, if you carelessly lay an atom bomb close to the tank it could turn it into a hydrogen bomb!

dammit, where did I put my atom bomb!?

a really f**king stupid waste of time and waste of money

Archive this article. Years from now, when we tell kids about this insane techno-boondoggle as we ride with them in our autonomous, 500-mile EVs, they’ll want proof we aren’t just making up another dumb story.

Shouldn’t be a problem. The Mirai build quality is so good there will be plenty of survivors in car museums.

Probably low mileage as well since there won’t have been many places to refuel them in their day.

ISIS will have hydrogen bombs on wheels.

Those big tanks look really scary to me. I work at a body shop and have seen some hits that would go into the area the tanks are located.

The thing that is puzzling here is Toyota spokesman think this car is going to be more transformational than the Prius.

We have, in most countries, and excellent distribution system with Gasoline and Petrol.

The Chevy Volt is an excellent user of this infrastructure….Electric most of the time, with a gasoline backup when needed.

It would the same thing as trying to promote BetaMax over VHS, when the world has moved on to DVD’s, and BluRay, and thumb drives.

How in the world do they expect to turn a profit on H2 when the World has already moved on to electric, and the backup system (gasoline) obviously is also successful?

+1. The financial and ecological hurdle of infrastructure in the case of hydrogen make this an improbability….throw in the emerging EV and existing PHEV architecture and it’s a no-win situation for H2.

Bill Howland said:

“The thing that is puzzling here is Toyota spokesman think this car is going to be more transformational than the Prius.”

Well, he was paid to say that regardless of what he actually believes.

Bill Howland continued:

“How in the world do they expect to turn a profit on H2 when the World has already moved on to electric, and the backup system (gasoline) obviously is also successful?”

Either there is collective insanity among executives at Honda and Toyota and Hyundai, or — more likely — these companies have some motive that has nothing to do with the normal business of selling cars for a profit.

If we look at the Wikipedia article on the California Fuel Cell Partnership, what companies are involved other than auto makers? Why: Shell, ChevronTexaco, and BP (British Petroleum). Auto makers don’t have billions to throw away developing and promoting dead-end faux “green tech” alternatives to gasoline powered cars. But Big Oil companies do. Maybe it’s just coincidence that Big Oil is involved in this Partership group. And maybe not…

Cui bono?

Well, ok, maybe in electricity starved Japan, or Viet Nam or someplace where Electricity is unavailable or seriously expensive.

But in General, I don’t see any huge numbers of John Q. Public volunteering for these things. The demand for these things hasn’t reached a ‘critical mass’ like electrics have, and I don’t see anything on the horizon, at least in North America to change this vie.

Maybe the plan here is precisely to make cars that the public will -not- buy, despite the promotion. Note that auto makers pressured the California legislature to roll back the zero-emission mandate, only a few years after the GM EV1 debuted. But California is doing it again; ratcheting up the pressure on auto makers. With this doomed-to-fail project to build “fool cell” cars, the auto makers have something to point to and say: “See! We -tried- to sell zero-emission vehicles, but the public wouldn’t buy them! You have to roll back those zero-emission mandates — again!” Am I engaging in a conspiracy theory? Maybe. Certainly I haven’t seen any hard evidence that this is the true reason Honda and Toyota and Hyundai are building fuel cell cars. But I think that possible motive might actually explain why these companies are making a very small number of “fool cell” cars, and actually promoting them. That would be a rational motive, whereas thinking the public at large actually wants to buy fuel cell cars… isn’t. Again: Cui bono? Who benefits? Big Oil benefits. So perhaps they’re helping fund this under the table. With their massive profits, they certainly do have the money… Read more »

If they really can sell 1000 per year of this model, that’s probably more than the annual total sales of all “fool cell” vehicles will be per year in the USA.

But then, the government of Japan is really pushing fuel cell cars, despite the clear insanity of doing so. So I suppose they’ll sell better there, at least until the impracticality of “fool cell” cars becomes so clear that even idealists will no longer be able to ignore it. That may take a few years; hopefully not longer.

Agree,
At least in Japan they can scrap them within 7 years.
In Australia you would have to donate to a museum in the same scenario.
At least with my Volt – you just have to find a power point one preferably attached to a solar PV plant.

Trying to find / keep a NASA type Hydrogen refuelling station operational = good luck with that crazy project.
Wonder when not if but when a Hydrogen “incident” will go off with a bang.

Well 3 prototype cars production a day – quality people on the lines for sure.

Pity I can see they have gone like others these days ease of ASSEMBLY.
Good luck at the dealer getting the battery pack out of that location and mounting arrangement. Beautiful Assembly but dealer servicing later?

I’d rather have a BEV or EREV.
Hydrogen what a waste of converting energy – can the planet afford another type of waste?