Initial Demand For Toyota Mirai In The US Not Good, Only 600 Apply

AUG 2 2015 BY JAY COLE 130

When the Chevrolet Volt first launched, InsideEVs’ own Lyle Dennis (then running GM-Volt.com) had accumulated a want list of more than 50,000 consumers (details) interested in the car, with more than 20,000 willing to put down a deposit – this without any promotion from GM itself.

When the Nissan opened its web-portal for Americans to make $99 reservations on the LEAF, the site was instantly bogged down to a crawl.

“We had 2,700 reservations in the first three hours,” reported Nissan’s senior director for customer management and business strategy.  Some 117,000 had even signed up ahead of the launch expressing interest.

Toyota Logs 600 People Interested In The Mirai During First 10 Days Of Its US Launch

Toyota Logs 600 People Interested In The Mirai During First 10 Days Of Its US Launch

So how about for the Toyota Mirai?  The much touted and advertised fuel cell vehicle, whose “Request Portal” opened on July 10th?

In the first 10 days of availability, Toyota reports 600 persons have expressed interest in being “contacted directly by a Toyota representative to explore the possibility of Mirai ownership.”

“That’s everyone that has gone on to Toyota.com/Mirai and requested a vehicle (since July 20),”company spokeswoman Jana Hartline told WardsAuto on July 30th

Part of the reason for the poor showing we heard about from Toyota’s Alt Fuel Manager Craig Scott a few days ago – that the new infrastructure for the Mirai, that is largely being funded by the US government, only has two of a planned 48 stations in operation today.

Mr. Scott further adds comment to WardsAuto on the current situation with fuel cell refuelling:

“The stations that exist today were built many, many, many years ago, using funds that were set up to create demonstration stations. That’s exactly what these are. They were never intended for retail use.”

Toyota's Mirai Booth At The NY Auto Show 2015 (Image Credit: InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney)

Toyota’s Mirai Booth At The NY Auto Show 2015 (Image Credit: InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney)

In real world terms, this means that FCV owners can wait upwards of 20 minutes for the station to regain pressure if it has just recently been in use – provided that station itself is operational, something today’s fuel cell vehicle buyers from Hyundai are sometimes experiencing.

In order to help alleviate the situation, Toyota says it will assist in “building dozens”  of hydrogen-refueling stations in both California and the Northeastern U.S. over the next few years, but patience is needed.

“There will be a period of discomfort if you will where the growth of cars exceeds the growth of stations, and then it catches up. It’s just kind of normal business. I don’t think there’s anything shocking here.”

The Toyota Mirai (full specs) MSRP stands at $57,500, and is available in California only, although up to $13,000 in lease incentives/reductions are available; lease deals are available now from $499/month with $3,649 down. The Mirai has an EPA-rated range of 312 miles and a MPGe rating of 67.

WardsAuto, Hat tip to sven!

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130 Comments on "Initial Demand For Toyota Mirai In The US Not Good, Only 600 Apply"

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Mike777

Let’s go places: That would be Nowhere. A Dead End.

Mark Hovis

In a few years, maybe 10, you can ride the hydrogen highway from San Diego to Seattle. OR you can travel 156 miles in any direction from the hydrogen highway then turn around.

no comment
ok, here is the reality, at least from what i have seen: the automobile industry deals in sale of millions of units, not a few thousand. it seems far from certain that you are going to have people abandon ICE vehicles for BEVs. while people like you purport to expatiate at length on what constitutes a ” superior technology”, in the real world, people make decisions on the basis of convenience. if you think that BEV are anywhere near as convenient as ICEs, then you’ve got your head stuck far inside of a very dark area, because if real, non-EV enthusiasts, consumers don’t buy into BEVs then all of your purported techo-blather isn’t going to make a bit of difference because automobile companies have to be concerned with selling product and less concerned with technology debates. for the life of me, i can’t understand the need by people on this forum, including apparently the insideevs staff, to criticize investigations into FCEVs. people like you would have been criticizing the government for investing in internet research 50 years ago. my attitude is that it is a good thing to investigate FCEVs as well as non-lithium ion battery technologies. from a practical… Read more »
Steve

It’s criticized because it doesn’t make scientific sense and never will. Have you read about the merits of the technology? It’s not like this is some secretive mystical thing. Elon Musk is a scientific person who’s launched rockets to space and feels the same way about FCEV. How much more proof do you need?

Just_Chris

Your comment and others like it is the one thing that that I find really unnerving about the whole EV market and related content. What ever you think about Fuel cells Elon Musk is absolutely not a “scientific” person he is a “business” person. That doesn’t mean he is a bad person it doesn’t explain his motivation but the idea that he should be taken as our trusted adviser in all matters is just wrong and the fact that so many people do absolutely blindly trust him is really, really, worrying.

Omar Sultan

You might want to do some research on Musk before you discount his engineering cred.

Just_Chris
I think that proves my point exactly, he might be a genius but having a BSci in physics doesn’t make you a scientist, he is not impartial. He is a business man, he is as impartial as any other CEO. You might prefer his company to someone else’s or his way of doing business to someone else but asking his opinion on a car that uses a fuel is like asking the head of Shell what he thinks of BEV’s. Musk will always say a car that requires a fuel is outdated, inefficient and totally inferior to the car that his company makes. You ask the head of Shell what he thinks of a BEV he is likely to say that they are completely impractical, takes too long to fill, won’t have the range, are too expensive buy and are inappropriate for the vast majority of drivers. Neither is an impartial adviser, I agree with Musk more than I disagree which certainly isn’t true for most CEO’s. The thing is, people, quite rightly, distrust the oil industry but seem to think that somehow Elon is on their side, a man of the people fighting for the little guy….. by making… Read more »
Kevin

+1

Speculawyer

You act as if he didn’t consider hydrogen before starting Tesla. He took the time to look into Hydrogen fuel cells. AFTER investigating fuel cells, he then went big on batteries.

Rick Danger

Yes. Yes. And YES.

liberty

You definitely are correct Musk is not impartial. But VW, Ford, Nissan, BWM, and GM all go along with Nobel Prize winner steven chu that plug-ins have a lot more of a shot at selling well in the next decade then fuel cell vehicles.

Its the cost and infrastructure! I don’t think Toyota and the fuel cell lobby have an edge here on science, they only have an edge on sellnig the most cars, and gm and vw (both on the plug-in side) are neck and neck there. The problem with plug-ins is not techinical it only is a matter of cost. I’m sure if the model S cost the same as a corrola it would outsell the corrola but that won’t happen. Why fight the plug-in revolution and shill for the fuel cell lobby?

Pushmi-Pullyu

We don’t need Elon Musk to tell us that hydrogen fuel is a dead-end technology. The meme “Hydrogen is the fuel of the future… and always will be!” has been around much, much longer than Tesla Motors, or Musk’s very appropriate quip that FCEVs are “fool cell” cars.

The first time I saw a robust explanation of just why hydrogen fuel is a dead-end tech was on phys.org. That’s “phys” as in “physics”. And that article is from 2006, which is two years before Tesla started selling its Roadster. (See link below)

Elon Musk may not be a scientist, but he certainly is an engineer. And your lack of understanding of the subject doesn’t change reality, nor does it put any limit on Mr. Musk’s understanding of the subject.

http://phys.org/news/2006-12-hydrogen-economy-doesnt.html

Ambulator

Yeah, but the first (and second and …) time I heard about hydrogen being the “fuel of the future and always will be” they were talking about fusion.

Mint

First of all, nobody is criticizing research. It’s the huge public sums going into infrastructure (relative to EVs) that is pissing people off, along with higher sales incentive.

The reason for the criticism is that it’s been a money pit for ages and is almost guaranteed to be a dead end now. H2 is awful compared to batteries for energy efficiency, volumetric density, and infrastructure. 15 years ago we wrote off EVs and looked towards fuel cells because great batteries were decades away. Now we have them; meanwhile, the fundamentals of fuel cells remain the same.

I don’t know what you’re ranting about regarding convenience. PHEV is *more* convenient than ICE-only, because you make less than half the fuel stops of even crappy econoboxes with ICE. That will take care of everyone that doesn’t want pure EV.

Mark Hovis

For the record, I am an EV enthusiast and contributor, not a staff member. I keep waiting for IEVs to send a check, but so far all I got is a shirt and a hat. It is an EV site after all.

My problem with hydrogen is a simple one. I fear that oil companies have no intention to reform hydrogen with anything other than frakogen. I don’t like my electricity made from it either. The difference being that I have a choice with where my electricity comes from, and I choose to offset mine with solar. I believe in a renewable society offering true zero emissions. I also use my real name on an EV site opposed to speaking out against them on an EV site anonymously.

Mark Hovis

Fuel Cell enthusiast always want to compare to BEVs and for a reason. When compared to a PHEV, or better still an EREV, there is no contest.
On range, economy, fuel time, performance, GHG emissions, cost of ownership, and driving freedom, there is no contest, now, or in the future. Upfront cost will surely equalize, and maybe performance, but for the rest, please feel free to refute, especially the claim to zero emissions.
http://insideevs.com/2016-chevy-volt-vs-toyota-mirai/

Spider-Dan

FCVs are potentially much better than PHEVs from a national (and world) security perspective, even if running on H2 sourced 100% from natural gas.

Mark Hovis

Possibly over the long term, but the PHEV probably only exists for twenty years. Doubtful that H2 can arrive in any meaningful numbers in twenty years.

Mark Hovis

That is also assuming that the PHEV or better still, the range extender for an EV is powered by gas. If the extender was natural gas, it would negate that scenario.

Mint

Theoretically, but even then only barely so. An H2 car can achieve near 100% reduction in oil use, while PHEV can achieve ~90%.

But when you consider adoption rate due to infrastructure, up front cost, and fuel cost, in reality PHEV crushes H2 in reduction of oil use.

electric-car-insider.com

+1

It’s really hard to imagine many people buying a H2 FCV without doing at least a little bit of research in advance.

And it’s even harder to imagine more than a few dozen people concluding that a Mirai will better suit their needs than a Chevy Volt or othe very capable, no compromise PHEV (or BEV).

Toyota employees, H2 distributors, Toyota vendor employees who live near an H2 station, or who can fuel at work. That’s got to be a pretty small number.

liberty

Add carb and state of california cronys and you have 3000 people and fleets, toytoa can lease all 3000, no problem.

liberty

A small modification and a phev can run on sunshine and methanol (which you could make from biogas, or electricity water and co2, or from natural gas. I’m sorry bur open fuel standard could move us away from oil dependance, you don’t need fuel cells to be made from natural gas, water and electricity, or biogas (note same stuff and methanol) to unhing from oil. Did I mention that you can make gasoline and diesel from methanol and electricity.

finecadmin

NO, they are not. Converting natural gas into hydrogen never creates, only destroys, via the Second Law. Just like in stationary fuel cells, where Bloom is embarrassing hydrogen hypers.

For any energy pathway with hydrogen, you can improve it… by dropping the hydrogen.

Speculawyer

Not really. We do extract a lot of oil and if everyone switched to PHEVs, we might not have to import. And besides, you could just build a PHEV with a CNG ICE. There are probably more CNG stations out there right now and CNG probably costs much less.

Pushmi-Pullyu
“i can’t understand the need by people on this forum, including apparently the insideevs staff, to criticize investigations into FCEVs.” I don’t at all oppose “investigations into” FCEVs. I very much support government-subsidized research, even for what turns out to be dead-end technologies, because you never know where basic scientific research will lead. We as a nation should be spending a lot more on basic research. But we have done enough research into large-scale hydrogen fuel production to know that it’s both economically impossible (EROI) and scientifically impossible (Thermodynamics) for that to ever be practical. Spending tens or hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to build out fueling stations for a dead-end technology isn’t “investigations into” a technology. It’s a boondoggle. Even worse than that, it’s a result of Big Oil successfully lobbying the State of California to throw away money on a tech which, even if it did impossibly become practical, would just feed more money to Big Oil (& Gas) by enormously increasing the demand for natural gas. The only ones to benefit from the “hydrogen economy” are those selling natural gas. Nobody else will; not taxpayers, not drivers, and certainly not the State of California. “people like… Read more »
Omar Sultan

^^^ That

Lustuccc

Funny how you chose to attack BEVs, comparing them with ICE cars.
Fool cell cars comes only after.

James

If a BEV does not meet the driver’s needs then a PHEV will do the job 24/7/365.
Hydrogen is a colossal waste of time and money on something that has no business or environmental case over a PHEV.
Maybe capacitors will come along to displace the BEV but fool cells are exactly that.

RS

Right ICE cars, sell in hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions. EVs sell in tens of thousands a year, thats one to two magnitudes to low. But FCEVs sell in hundreds, thats 3-4 magnitudes below ICEs and about two magnitudes lower than BEVs. If you say Consumers don’t want EVs, you must follow up with: but if they have the choice, they would rather have BEVs than FCEVs. Once they outsell BEVs you can come back and say I told you so, until then it stays a fact that BEVs are more popular than Plug in Hybrids or FCEVs.

jerryd

It takes me 20 seconds to charge at home and costs me $1/48 miles for fuel.
Beats the hell out of a gas car in time savings.
As far as H2FC cars are a bad joke costing 4x’s as much to buy and 10x’s more to fuel unsubsidized is why it won’t sell.
For that kind of monthly payment I’d much rather have a Tesla, judged the best car in the world by gas magazines even. Vs NO one says that about the Mirai

przemo_li

How many stations? How many stalls? How much $$ to build up? How much to operate? Will 3000 per year of cars sold sustain that route?

I do not think hydro is on pair with EVs right now. Its more like 00′ efforts, where infra AND evs where small in numbers.

Big Solar

and how much won’t it work at almost any cost??

George Bower

How odd.
Americans love to pump gas.

They want more pumps.

offib

Pffft! Oh, that says something else…

philip d

CARB should have required a minimum number of actual operational hydrogen fueling stations that met some minimum real-world fueling criteria before Toyota or any automaker selling FCVs could claim any of the special “fast fueling” ZEV credits.

Bill Howland
Jay, I’m really surprised they got as much as 600 signing up for it… Must be the lucrative tax credits since California is the Home of the Hydrogen Highway. I’d much rather skip all the complication and just use Compressed Natural Gas I made at home from my existing infrastructure. The complication and inefficiency of coming up with H2 is not worth the bother nor the expense. That said, I’m interested in the technology for comparison purposes. Is there anyway we can at least get a schematic one – line diagram of one of those $1 million service stations? With the size of the machinery, etc? The initial problems they are having, where the stations are so ‘micro’ they can only charge one car per hour or whatever, I’m not worried about, since if this were really a compelling technology the pumping equipment would be sized according to the real customer demand. I don’t see that coming to fruition. But I would like to know precisely what is involved. Paid Hydrogen industry writers who will comment here, please instead of the usual “RAH RAH” posts about how Great and Indispensible this is, please tell the rest of us technically inclined… Read more »
Mark Hovis
“Paid Hydrogen industry writers who will comment here, please instead of the usual “RAH RAH” posts about how Great and Indispensable this is, please tell the rest of us technically inclined people exactly how the service station works, and please don’t fall back on “this is proprietary INFO”, since the first one that is built anyone can take a photo of, including nameplates and capacities.” +1 Bill. As an engineer, I worry a lot less about the technology of the vehicle than that of the infrastructure. I am a little disappointed that the fair and balanced news station has not reported on this like the ripping they gave the Chevy Volt. Why? Because those in charge of telling them what to report don’t actually practice their picking winners and losers line. Just imagine if they really wanted a solution, and they launched with an FCEREV where participants had an option to drive electric opposed to being stuck without an available infrastructure. Of course you would not break your dependency on pumping in that scenario. I was a huge fan of the Honda Clarity early on. I especially liked the idea Honda proposed of a home hydrogen fueling station. I never… Read more »
Djoni

I would say that CARB have been infested wiht petrolhead, probably more pocket rich petrol than whatever else.
Alan C. Lloyd ex director is now spreading the good news about hydrogen economy.
The actual board of director have Mary Nichols on it and it doesn’t look like she disliked petrol earning, living, and economy at all.

http://www.allgov.com/usa/ca/news/appointments-and-resignations/air_resources_board_chair_who_is_mary_nichols?news=641542

And there is other that have known interest in the petrol industry.

CQFD

Pushmi-Pullyu

Perhaps the biggest political force behind the push for the “hydrogen highway” in California is the California Fuel Cell Partnership. Let’s see, are there any companies whose names we recognize among the backers of that partnership? Oh, yeah:

Shell Hydrogen
ChevronTexaco

Yes, Big Oil lobbying is alive and well, even in the pro-“Green” State of California.

More about the California Fuel Cell Partnership here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Fuel_Cell_Partnership

Djoni

Your link is a bit outdated, noneless valid, but I would also put their site.
http://www.cafcp.org/

And the world is a wonderfull place to live with hydrogen, at least, this is what they sing all along.

finecadmin

And the Sacramento CFCP office, last I checked, has EV chargers, but no hydrogen pump.

GRA

See “V: Evaluation of Current and Projected Hydrogen Fueling Capacity”, pages 29-33, and especially

“VI: Hydrogen Fuel Station Performance Standards and Technology”, pages 34-43, of ARB’s 2014 report:

http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/zevprog/ab8/ab8_report_final_june2014.pdf

Mister G

600 fools

Brian_Henderson

… expressed interest in being contacted, to make reservation.

The process is multi step, with 600 submitting contact info to learn about the next step.

przemo_li

Process is multi step as most of those will be rejected by Toyota itself.

Living near hydro-station, driving short trips, driving in city, fulfilling req’s for federal rebate, etc.

Toyota wont put Mirai in hands of someone who would not like it.

That would be big blow to whole enterprise.

So first buyers will be screened heavily.

Good thing too. Most EV OEMs do that too. (Tesla do)

finecadmin

Don’t forget industry journalists looking for a lead.

Pete

US are already over 300.000 EVs, Tesla enthusiasm, soon the new Volt and LEAF 30 kWh much cheaper. I think there is no place for expensive FCV vehicle. With over 50.000 Dollar most people will pay little more and get a Tesla or less and get a Volt or Leaf.
New Bolt, next generation Leaf will not improve Toyotas single-handedly, espescially Model 3.

Forever green

Toyota reports 600 persons have expressed interest in being “contacted directly by a Toyota representative to explore the possibility of Mirai ownership”. I don’t believe there are 600 people who are foolish enough to be interested in the Toyota Mirai. The quality of this car is no better than the Toyota Prius. There is no infrastructure to support this car. If you do find a hydrogen fueling station, the station can only fuel 12 to 15 cars per day. This car is a waste of energy (69 MPGe). This car is a waste of taxpayer’s money. I don’t think it will win any beauty contests and it is very expensive ($57,000).

Will

it’s just a compliance car.

James

Exactly. Follow the ZEV credits. It gets 3x as many as the Tesla does, which is absurd.

finecadmin

Makes sense if you’re Toyota. Or trying to stall actual progress, like Shell, Total, etc.

James

Exactly. But we still seem to be playing wack-a-mole with the fool cell folks.

finecadmin

Including no comment, who has already backpedaled to fuel cell range extenders for plug-ins. Bac-a-mole, then?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baka_(fool)

Dave R

I just signed up last night, but not because I’m serious about getting one, I’m mostly curious about the process.

The nearest fueling station (a year away at the soonest) will be 10 miles and 20 minutes away which means an hour to fill up every week. There are no plans to build anything more convenient.

I don’t even spend that much time charging my LEAF in public in an entire month or more! And then I’m usually doing some else while charging.

Someone out there

Soo… free fuel for 3 years when you buy/lease a Mirai but you have to wait a couple of years for Toyota to build a couple of fueling stations first… sounds like a scam!
“Free fuel… if you can find it!”

finecadmin

The scam is with the California driver, giving Toyota ZEV credits several times that of a feasible vehicle. Oh, and the California breather.

Someone out there

Why does this Edsel get $13000 in incentives when actually environmentally friendly cars only get $7500?

Doug

The fuel cell tax credit should be re-instated. Level the playing field. Why should BEVs have an unfair advantage in the marketplace? Nissan, GM, Fiat… have been absorbing the tax credit into their lease deals for years now. Why shouldn’t Hyundai, Toyota and Honda be given the same opportunity?

Someone out there

Because hydrogen fuel cell tech is really just greenwashing the fossil industry.

finecadmin

Hydrogen cars get MORE California credits than EVs. Your post is as much a misdirection as hydrogen itself.

no comment

it’s kind of ridiculous to suggest that you expected that the mirai would have the kind of demand that the Volt had, don’t you think?

Big Solar

not if you consider the amount of money behind it

Pushmi-Pullyu

It’s like the Edsel, which Ford also spent a lot of money to advertise. But as Abraham Lincoln said: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

In the case of “fool cell” cars, you can fool very few of the people.

Pushmi-Pullyu

As one commenter said re the last “fool cell” car article here:

This is even worse than we hoped! 😀

The sooner they quit wasting our tax dollars on this boondoggle, the better.

Who would actually be in the market to buy one? Let’s not forget that there are about two dozen fleets of FCEVs nationwide; fleets which already have their own private H2 fueling station. I’m sure some of those fleet owners will be buying new cars for their fleets. Other than that, Toyota will find very few Americans foolish enough to buy into their marketing hype for this fool cell car.

Perhaps they’ll do slightly better in Japan, where the government is pushing hard at promoting the “hydrogen highway”, but even there I can’t believe this boondoggle will last more than a few years.

Brian_Henderson

Jay,

Not mentioned in the article is:

1. Deposits for Model X ($5000) stretch out almost 2 years and number 25-30,000 at this point. ($125…$150 million in deposits that Tesla is holding)

2. Current LEAF sales (US only) currently exceed 600 per week.

3. There will likely to be another 50,000+ PEVs delivered across the US by the time the first Mirai is delivered to a customer in Northern California in March 2016.

IDK

Toyota is out of touch with what the consumer wants for an alternative fuel vehicle. They should have continued with the EV route.

Steve

True, and they shouldn’t be allowed to take down tax payers’ money with their poor decisions.

Mike

Does Toyota really expect volumes of cars sold to outpace stations built? That would seem to be the exact opposite of what should happen if they want to actually succeed in making hydrogen vehicles successful. No one is going to buy a car where “there will be a period of discomfort” as they wait for fueling infrastructure to catch up, especially if they have to pay a premium for both the car and the fuel over what they would pay for a traditional ICE vehicle and gasoline. If Toyota wants this to succeed, they need to be proactive in building out and then maintaining fueling structure themselves; anything else is likely to fail in a whimper. Even public money won’t be enough as investors and prospective entrepreneurs would have little incentive to keep spending their own money after public money is used up if cost overruns occur during construction or if they have to run at a loss for years, perhaps decades, waiting for a sufficient volume of customers to make a profit past their overhead.

finecadmin

Let’s see who whi… chimes in with the “gasoline stations too a while too” false equivalence, apparently too foolish to realize gasoline was sold in tin cans for decades while infrastructure was developing.

Show me a hydrogen tin can… and I’ll show you a guy with idle hands.

James

The problem is not the lack of stations, although that’s not helpful. The problem is that their demographic are Leaf owners and other electric car drivers who don’t really want a hydrogen car.

finecadmin

No, the problem is the Second Law. Been an issue for 13.7 billion years now.

David Murray

It is no surprise that there were only 600 people interested. I guarantee you the primary reason has to do with infrastructure. Keep in mind that when the Volt and Leaf were first letting people sign up, anyone in the USA could get on the list. Right now, 99% of the country can’t sign up because they have no where to get fuel.

Having said that, I personally still don’t see the appeal of fuel cells, except maybe as a range-extender fuel. If the car can’t plug in, I’m not interested.

Mike777

Exactly.

And the Volt is less expensive and gets greater mpg and mpge. A dead end is a dead end.

Mike777

“Part of the reason for the poor showing we heard about from Toyota’s Alt Fuel Manager Craig Scott a few days ago – that the new infrastructure for the Mirai, that is largely being funded by the US government, only has two of a planned 48 stations in operation today.”

— Old Industry wants the GOVERNMENT to fund their conversion to natural gas sales, because that’s what hydrogen is, another CARBON Product.

kdawg

“Toyota says it will assist in “building dozens” of hydrogen-refueling stations in both California and the Northeastern U.S. over the next few years,”
—-

Key word: “assist”

mhpr262

Dear Toyota, maybe, just maybe, you shouldn’t have made your car so hideously ugly? Every other manufacturer seems to have learned from Tesla – the days of the geeky look-at-me alternative drivetrain car are over. People want a good looking car. Even the next LEAF will be more conventional looking, according to Nissan.

jelloslug

It’s not the looks that are keeping people away….

Pushmi-Pullyu

+∞

jelloslug

Throw out the fuel cell and replace it with 75kw worth of batteries and they would have a winner. It would be an instant hit.

Doug

Where does Inside Evs keep getting $13,000 in government incentives?!!! It’s only $5,000 from California. The federal government canceled the $8,000 tax credit last year! Please get your facts straight.

Djoni

Strange but the Toyota Mirai logo is a drop of something upside down.
Petrol would be my gess.

offib

I was going to defend the Mirai considering that it’s early days, but I forgot the demand the Volt and LEAF had in counting reservations, or the Model S and X to say otherwise.

Toyota said for the Mirai they’re aiming for eco-conscious, tech savy, same old same old buyers, the same group that the Prius targeted over a decade ago. Does anyone think that there aren’t any left? in 2000-2004, there was hardly a car that met the needs and the Prius met them, but the Mirai is hardly a same car which Toyota is expecting it to be. Would most of these drivers be in plug-ins, as many were previous Prius drivers?

That begs to question, are there any plug-in owners who would value the Mirai as the better car?

Eric Richner

Who will start a change.org campaign to get California to stop the H2 insanity, they should stop wasting CA taxpayers money they don’t have!

MDEV

Now we know there are 600 Toyota executives in U.S.

E-lectric

I think it’s cool. When the fuel station near me (Toyota offices) is running, I’ll get one. Tesla S is too big.

Roy_H

Do yourself a favor and take a test drive in pure EV alternatives including Tesla before you decide. Consider facts like most hydrogen is made from natural gas, so pollution still takes place just not at your car. They will talk about non-polluting hydrogen made from water, but this is by electrolysis (or equivalent) and requires electricity. The efficiency is about 50% so it will always cost at least twice as much as electricity. Having a fully charged EV every morning is much better than having to drive to a station for fill-up.

finecadmin

And that’s not including pumping losses. And leakage (including diffusion through solids). And both happen AGAIN inside the vehicle!

Roy_H

600 poor misguided souls, and in only 10 days!

I imagine that the only people who are interested in FCVs have only read some of the hype and never researched the facts. Early adopters are generally researchers, people interested in new technology and they know what they are buying and accept various risks.

It will be very interesting to find out the demographic of actual purchasers, do they have a connection with the oil industry? Fleets vs private.

I hope to god that FCVs die an early death before the government spends $Bs of our tax dollars on the hydrogen infrastructure. It is certain that it will not be built by the oil industry even though they are the ones who will profit from it.

Three Electrics

Toyota’s strategy with the Mirai is not to produce a compelling FCEV, it’s produce a minimum viable product as a catalyst to jumpstart hydrogen infrastructure. In classic chicken-and-egg fashion, FCEV manufacturers cannot make a compelling case to build more fueling stations in Japan, Germany, and the US (especially the latter; at least Germany will have 400 in a few years) without at least one FCEV on the market. Otherwise, the answer would be, “come back when there’s a car to buy.” The Mirai is that car–like the Tesla Roadster, it’s not ready for prime time (at least cost and infra-wise), but you have to start somewhere.

Mark Hovis

That is a better assessment than what Toyota is touting. The Honda Clarity, and others presented their product exactly as you describe. They have not stepped out bashing EVs like Toyota has, nor making the claims that Toyota and other advocates of oil have.

finecadmin
Martin Tesar

There were 600 stupid enough people to buy a Hydrogen car with no valid working infrastructure ?
What’s wrong in America -small precent have lost their marbles and any sense of reality ?

EV Fan

Fuel Cells have merits just like EV’s environmentally. After all hydrogen can be made from electrolysis of water. They have quick refuel advantage. But current FUel Cells Mirai cars trail in performance and price to buy and operate. Operations includes high price of H2 and low FC life span. Currently poor demand of FC is due to lack of real advantage with minimal stations. But even with stations cost and performance are abysmal and the car offers a novelty right now.

finecadmin

You’ve never penciled out even a basic energy accounting of electrolysis, have you?

-Lysis via electricity will never pencil out, since the Second Law states you will waste electricity versus… electricity!

-Direct photoelectrochemical does not pencil out, since methanol can be generated alternately. That methanol will have far lower pumping and storage losses, in visibly standard methanol stations and pumps, and can be used in methanol fuel cell range extenders.

-“Preheat” with a nuclear reactor will never pencil out, since thermal cycles are about as lossy as they get. Again, Second Law losses (even before pumping and storage).

-Stripping natural gas will waste energy versus… you guessed it, natural gas! Gas fuel cells are already in stationary use, and natural gas pumps are already being built along key interstates. They are far less lossy and expensive than hydrogen piping and dispensers.

We can go on- there is no pathway in which inserting a lossy medium improves that pathway, so “hydrogen cannot compete with hydrogen sources.”

James

The sad part is that Toyota could have sold 50,000 to 100,000 Rav 4 EVs by now and helped to meaningfully contribute to the reduction in greenhouse emissions instead of their fool’s errand.

David Murray

Considering the usage pattern on my Volt, being I only engage the ICE about once a month for maybe 10 or 20 miles, I think a fuel cell would be great for a range extender, especially if the vehicle had 50 to 80 miles of EV range. But I just can’t see having to make a trip to a fuel station once a week like I used to do when driving a gas car. That just seems like a step backwards.

finecadmin

So you want a natural gas or methanol fuel cell. Avoids hydrogen synthesis, pumping, and storage losses, while being able to use existing station technologies. California even built methanol stations, while LNG stations are rolling out along major trucking routes.

JimSeko

When hydrogen production and fueling infrastructure is included, FCVs are an elaborate and expensive Rube Goldberg machine where fracked natural gas goes in one end and water vapor comes out the other end with tonnes of CO2 emissions in between

Steve

Aaaarrghhhhh…. the sooner Toyota realises this is a dumb idea and begins manufacturing BEVs the better.

finecadmin

Bilking California isn’t dumb at all.

Nick

I’m quite surprised they didn’t ship these with home fuelers.

Likely be much more expensive and worse for the environment then gas per mile, but would be worlds more convenient.

Take water, run it through a PEM fuel cell, compress the hydrogen, and run it into the car.

Djoni

All that with an electricity bill that would be 5 times the amount of just plugin in and all the hasard and inconvenience and hazard of having a dedicated machine, probaly noisy, doing this!
What’s the point?
I’ll pass many turn.

leaf owner

Why do you think they call them “fool cells” Although – the few that sell may be worth something some day due to the extreme rarity…

GO EV’s

Car Guy

“Fool cells” is what Mr Musk calls them. Tony Seba shows us the real numbers.
http://insideevs.com/hydrogen-fuel-cell-vehicles-compared-electric-cars-video/
There is no future for “Fool cells”

Ben

57K for a Toyota Corolla……. after three years of free fuel how much will it cost per gallon equivalent? I think I remember hearing it will be over $5 gallon equivalent. maybe even $6.

Pushmi-Pullyu

H2 is as cheap as $6 per kilo only where it has a subsidized price. Non-subsidized, it’s about $8 per kilo when made by reforming natural gas, and currently about $15 when made by electrolysis. We might expect the latter figure to come down a bit, but clearly (due to EROI and Thermodynamics) generating, compressing, storing, and dispensing it involves too many costly, wasteful, energy-losing steps to ever have the price come down very far.

Francis L

The real question is : why would somebody buy that car instead of a ICE car?

I can’t see any reason (which isn’t the case for BEVs).

Car Guy

Good point. They have the same efficiency according to Tony Seba.

What happens when one gets hit by a semi doing 75 mph?

Can’t use them up north. Water vapor exhaust turns to ice below 32 degrees.

Obviously Toyota has teamed up with the oil and gas industries.

guillaumef

Since H2 is so hard to find commercially, they could at least make the mirai plug-in so people could recharge at home. Maybe even have a larger battery, so not to waste precious h2.

Better yet, people could choose between taking extra battery (and remove fuel cell if there isn’t enough space) or replace the fuel cell with gas engine extender, since no one will be able to buy h2 that easily and gas is available everywhere. That would really sell well !

…what ? they already have those ? D’oh ! if only toyota had thought of this idea first !

Someone out there

The problem with that is that it would ruin the whole premise for fuel cells. People would then realize that they really don’t need the fuel cell at all.

Dag Johansen

That would make it more practical. But it would also be a tacit admission that batteries work great.

ffbj

Just as we thought.

Speculawyer

Yeah, I’ve been saying it all along. If there were big demand then you would have seen it on these message boards.

Rick Danger

In 50 years, people will look back at the Mirai and shake their heads, with a “WTF were they thinking” expression, much as we look at Edsels today.

Bill Howland
I agree with MINT and others that this trying to convince the Public that this Mirai is such a great vehicle is rather like a comparison with a tube-type AM radio from 70 years ago to a big flat screen TV today. Yes, the radio does a satisfactory job at what it does, but for the price, they won’t sell anything because people get more value out of the modern TV. Its the same with this overpriced Mirai compared to, say a 2016 VOLT What with its: A). 53 mile electric range (some will get 70) B). 42 MPG of REGULAR GAS C). Attractive appearance, there’s simply no comparison to the Toyota Mirai. Calling it an Edsal is to insult the FORD motor company seeing as the Edsal was more viable than this , excuse me, PIG. The problem is not so much the way overpriced car; its the non-existant infrastructure, when the 2 low-cost infrastructures FULLY EXIST for the Chevy Volt. 1). Even should gasoline go to $5/gallon again, the Volt will run economically since its get tremendous work out of each gallon of gas, especially in cold weather. 2). It goes so far on electricity, that only a… Read more »
Speculawyer

Yep.

Well, the Mirai does have the advantage over the Volt in that when you do drive long distances, there are zero local emissions. But that is pretty meaningless since as long as they make the H2 from methane, it still releases a lot of greenhouse gases.

I guess the Mirai does release less toxic local pollutants but Volt releases a pretty darn small amount of those.

Dag Johansen

I bet Toyota could build a 300 mile range EV for $57K if they chose to do so.

finecadmin

But they’d get fewer California ZEV credits, to exploit on their own piston vehicles, or resell to other companies. Which is what this is all about- no CA subsidy, no subsidy farming.

Scott Franco

600 people with money and not much sense? I’ll bet there are Ethiopians who would like that customer list…

Me!

After they abandoned the best ZEV they had, they created this fugly monster! Well the public has spoken! Bring back the Rav4ev with a 200+ mile range to challenge Tesla now. Ohhh wait.. you broke your ties already with them! Good luck with teh Hindenburg fuel!

JT

Are any people on here degreed engineers? Anyone working actively in the automotive industry? Reading through most of this debate is sad. It’s obvious most here use googlepedia for their information instead of researching actual facts from technical publications.
While H2G may seem like the perennial ‘fuel of the future’, it is in fact a complimentary solution to BEV. The Elon Musks of the world see it as competition. Its not because he is the smartest man alive either (sorry) You have to understand the entire problem before you offer input on how to solve it. Building a car, or anything for that matter, starts with requirements. Its not just a matter of MPGGE. You have to factor in material cost, efficiency, WTW, supply chain, weight, packaging, vehicle dynamics, NVH, etc etc.
Ponder this: Do we really think that Toyota, one of the largest automotive OEMs in the world, with decades in pioneering battery research, is completely wrong?

Raymondjram

Yes! Toyota is wrong!

Raymondjram

GM made over a hundered Fuel Cell Equinox test vehicles in 2008 and some are still running. But GM was smarter to go for the Volt technology (an EV with a gas engine range extender) in 2009, produced it in 2010 as a 2011 model, won over 30 awards, and have sold over 100,000 Volts, Amperas, and ELRs since then. Now the Volt has a second generation in production.

If GM did this, then Toyota is very stupid to invest so much in FCEV that GM intelligently rejected. AS for waiting lists, GM had thousands (I was one of them) for the Chevy Volt versus only 600 for the Toyota Mirai?