Toyota Announces One More Production Increase For Mirai


Toyota Mirai First Delivery

Toyota Mirai First Delivery

Toyota Mirai

Toyota Mirai

When you set an initial production rate really, really low, it allows room for several production increase announcements.

Such is the case with the Toyota Mirai.

We’re can’t even count the number of times Toyota has announced a production increase for Mirai, but here’s the latest one:

Toyota to Increase ‘Mirai’ Production

Toyota City, Japan, January 22, 2015―Toyota Motor Corporation today announced that it will increase production of the “Mirai” fuel cell sedan, which launched in Japan on December 15, 2014. The new plan calls for production to increase from the 2015 level of 700 units to approximately 2,000 units in 2016 and approximately 3,000 units in 2017.

Considering the approximately 1,500 orders received in the first month of sales in Japan, and the upcoming launches in Europe and the United States later this year, it was decided that the supply structure should be adjusted to reflect the level of demand for the vehicle.

Sales plans for Japan, the U.S. and Europe following the production increases will be formulated taking into consideration each region’s level of hydrogen infrastructure development, energy policies, car-purchasing subsidies, consumer demand, environmental regulations, and other factors.

So, still very low production figures, which leaves room for the next production increase announcement.

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58 Comments on "Toyota Announces One More Production Increase For Mirai"

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Four links to analysis of the viability of hydrogen as a transportation fuel:

Ulf Bossel, an internationally recognized fuel cell expert:

Tony Seba, Stanford professor:

Joe Romm, MIT Physics PhD , Senior Fellow at Center for American Progress

Julian Cox is not a scientist but this critique is well-reasoned, comprehensive and has many authoritative citations:

Three Electrics

These critiques boil down to two arguments:

– making hydrogen from electricity is wasteful
– making hydrogen from natural gas emits carbon

However, the former is likely to be obviated by near-free distributed solar power (for which hydrogen is the cheapest storage medium).

The latter is true, but in this respect hydrogen still emits less well to wheels carbon than EVs powered by coal, and emits the same amount of carbon as EVs powered by natural gas electric grids as exist in California.

Meanwhile, the advantages of hydrogen are not listed anywhere–namely that hydrogen has fundamental range and refueling advantages over EVs, and possibly cost as well. For these reasons there is likely to be higher demand for hydrogen cars than for EVs once they go mainstream.


Luckily, Japan is serving as the proof of concept for a hydrogen economy. Hydrogen as an energy storage medium will be perfected there, and if it makes sense for the US, it will be adopted here.

Alonso Perez

Hydrogen has refueling advantages, to people who want to preserve the fuel station model. It will never be possible to set up home fueling stations, so unlike EVs, hydrogen cars require fuel companies.

If you don’t want to preserve the fuel station model, hydrogen has no fueling advantage. Sure, for now fueling is faster, but that’s irrelevant if you use your EV for commuting. If you do road trips, good luck finding hydrogen stations any time soon.

It will also never be possible for some people to charge at home. Not everybody lives in a house in the suburbs with a detached garage. Plenty of people live in built-up densely populated urban areas and rely on street parking. There is no way public charging stations could scale up in these urban areas to meet demand if charging takes 30 minutes or more. You would have to build at least 6 times as many charging stations to service as many EV cars as 5 minutes fill-up gas stations that service ICE vehicles, even if people were willing to wait 30+ minutes every time they needed a charge. Use Google street view to look at the parking situation in NYC (Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and upper or lower Manhattan) and tell me where all those cars parked on the street will charge. Most of these cars can’t charge at work, since the owners take public transit (subway and/or bus) to commute to work and their workplace doesn’t have a parking lot. Why can’t hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and EVs coexist? Why does it have to be all EVs? Can’t hydrogen fuel cells and 100% ethanol EREVS or CNG EREVs… Read more »

sven said:

“It will also never be possible for some people to charge at home. Not everybody lives in a house in the suburbs with a detached garage. Plenty of people live in built-up densely populated urban areas and rely on street parking.”

I suppose many or most people living in the horse-and-buggy era found it impossible to believe that someday, cities would have enough parking spots for the majority of families to own a car and park it within walking distance of home. And it’s probably every bit as impossible for you, Sven, to believe that someday, very nearly every public parking place, including streetside parking in residential areas, will have an EV “hitching post” charger. Impossible for you to believe, despite the fact that this would require far less of a change to our cities than exchanging horse hitching rails for parking lots.

But streetside EV chargers in residential areas isn’t some far-distant future tech. They are already here:


You’ve obviously never had to park on the streets of NYC on daily basis.


They absolutely could and should coexist if they solved some problem that today’s technology cannot or offered some tangible improvement.

-Fuel cells are close to being financially viable for “for profit” businesses. Incentives are needed that are much, much larger than the ones today’s EV’s enjoy.

-Fuel cells waste significantly more energy than BEVs. Solar or other electric power sources are much more efficient utilized in BEVs or for alternative liquid fuel production/distribution.

-Fuel cell fueling infrastructure does not exist. The grid is everywhere in metropolitan areas and adding charging outlets is cheap for a smart distribution system. Liquid fueling stations are ubiquitous in developed countries. Much lower pressure natural is also readily available. Liquid and natural gas refueling is faster than hydrogen. Superchargers can get you 75 miles in 10 minutes. Battery swaps are also comparable to a fueling station refill time.

Fuel cells offer disadvantages over BEV plus EREV for automotive transportation with no significant advantage.


I disagree. Japan already has towns filled with homes powered by fuel cells that run on hydrogen extracted through city gas that is delivered to houses on existing pipelines.

Simply put, hydrogen can be added (5-15%) to existing NG pipelines with little modification.


Adding 5 to 15% hydrogen to natural gas is a very long way indeed from using pure hydrogen as a fuel. Natural gas is fairly easy to use as a fuel; it is found naturally in the earth in large quantities, can be mined/extracted at relatively low cost, is easily stored and is easily distributed using normal plumbing, and does not need to be highly pressurized.

None of that is true of hydrogen fuel.


You do realize that the 5 to 15% hydrogen in the natural gas gets extracted at the point of use, don’t you?


“However, the former is likely to be obviated by near-free distributed solar power (for which hydrogen is the cheapest storage medium).”
I see a lot of claims along this line, but they fail to account for the 3x efficiency multiplier for BEVs under the same pathway and the fact that we are very, very far away from near-free solar even with government subsidies. And hydrogen is quite far from the cheapest storage medium (pumped storage is).

Hydrogen cars have a refueling peak speed advantage. They have no range advantage for a vehicle of comparable cost. The fundamental issue is volumetric density of the tanks.


I always have to laugh when I see EV bashers try to argue “Well, it doesn’t matter how much energy it takes to make hydrogen, since energy from sunlight is free.”

Nope, it’s not “free”, because buying, installing, and maintaining solar panels to gather that energy isn’t free. Furthermore, even if you could magically generate hydrogen for free, the difficulty and high cost of storing and distributing it wouldn’t magically disappear. The cost of a hydrogen dispensing station is astronomically higher than the cost of either a gas station or an EV recharge station.

But what makes this an especially silly argument is that it completely ignores the fact that if electricity was that cheap, then driving an electric car would become even -more- attractive, making “fool cell” vehicles even less competitive!

See Through

Even with electricity at $0, driving a 300-mile range EV like Tesla costs more per mile, simply because the battery and the Aluminium body is so darn expensive. Your argument doesn’t hold.


The cost of batteries, and therefore the cost of BEVs, continues to drop several percent every year. How about the cost of producing hydrogen? Not so much.

There is no fundamental barrier in physics or chemistry to cheap, long-lasting, fast-charging batteries. Eventually we’ll have them, and we’re inching closer every year. Contrariwise, there most certainly -are- very fundamental barriers to cheap hydrogen fuel. Barriers in basic physics (thermodynamics) and basic economics (EROI).

And despite all your attempts to bash EVs and short-sell TSLA stock, “See Through” — attempts both on InsideEVs and Seeking Alpha — nothing you post will ever change that reality.



Nor would I concede that fuel cells plus tank and accessory equipment are cheaper than a battery/motor/PEM. They may be one day but are not close to it yet and as you allude the physics are on the side of cost for batteries too.


“The cost of batteries, and therefore the cost of BEVs, continues to drop several percent every year. How about the cost of producing hydrogen? Not so much.”

Don’t be such a Luddite when it comes to science and hydrogen generation. The cost of producing hydrogen will to drop significantly in the future. Recently, researchers developed a catalyst that significantly increased the efficiency of producing hydrogen. Are you betting against science and technology?

Tony Williams

Lensman, don’t you love how these H2 supporter talking points actually favor battery electric cars (the cars that don’t refuel with hydrogen)?

Yes, folks, cheap or “free” electricity does not favor H2 refueled cars over electricity refueled cars. Quite the opposite.

Tom Moloughney

Great. So when it’s in its third year of production, they’ll still be making less of them in the entire year than the number of LEAFs Nissan currently sells in the US every month.

Big Solar

its just a distraction from the inevitable

Lou Grinzo

Translation: We’re going to put enough lipstick on this pig to make you think it’s pretty, no matter what it takes.

(And in this context, “pig” means: An absurdly bad technology application that only makes financial sense for us to promote thanks to laughably bad public policies that voters like you aren’t going to force your elected representatives to change.)


Oh man, Toyota has certainly learned to play the expectation game, and game the media coverage.

“We are a company that makes 10 million cars per year. And now….

REVOLUTION!!!! We’re coming out with Fuel Cell!!!”

(fine print: we’ll sell 3.5 of those next year)


(fine print: that’ll be a total of 7 units)

“BREAKING!!!!!!1111!! ANOTHER 100% INCREASE!!!”

(if you know 3rd-grade math, that’s now 14 units vs. 10 million of other stuff we sell every year)

And so on, as long as the lap-dog media laps it up.

See Through

Guess that’s the only thing they learnt from Tesla collaboration.


Hmmm… let’s see through this lame spin attempt…

Oh yes, Tesla sells in a *month* more top-notch cutting-edge unprecedented-technology BEVs, than Toyota’s “increased” plan is for what? 3 years?


“We’re can’t even count the number of times Toyota has announced a production increase for Mirai, but here’s the latest one:”

Eric, let me count for you. This is the FIRST time Toyota has announced a production increase for the Mirai. On two previous occasions, a Japanese news outlet called Nikkea Asian Review reported that Toyota had decided to increase production.

Eric Cote

Why is the front grille so huge? Is there that much heat generated by the fuel cell? How does that spell efficiency?


I have been told that there is a low delta-T, so the radiators have to be large for even a low rate of heat rejection.


mike w

So if the delta T is low how do you get cabin heat in the winter time? After all cabin heat from waste heat is the only real advantage that FCVs have or had. Except for maybe faster recharge/fuel time.

PEM fuel cells produce fairly low-temp heat, so it takes larger radiators to get rid of it, plus cooling the electronics, etc. As to the commercial viability of fuel cells, that as well as the viability of BEVs will be determined largely by their price relative to gas. An Op-Ed: I’m technologically neutral, and while the energy efficiency advantage of BEVs is valuable, the operational advantages of fuel cells _at the moment_ give them the nod from me, especially since I live in California and will have an H2 fueling station 1.6 miles away this year, as well as an embryo network of them for intrastate travel. I live in a rental apartment with no way to charge at home (barring an extension cord out a window/L1), just like the majority of the world’s urban population; the U.S. model of owner-occupied, detached single family homes with garages and power represents the minority worldwide, so the BEV’s ability to charge overnight at home is meaningless for much of the world’s population. So far I don’t see a viable business model for public charging; if a company charges enough to make a profit selling electricity at retail, they cost more than gas… Read more »

Welcome to InsideEVs :D, but be warned that any hint of supporting hydrogen fuel cells as an alternative to EVs usually elicits snarky comments and accusations of being a paid troll from a vocal majority.

Alonso Perez

No need for that. The extent to which Toyota takes FCEVs seriously is revealed by their exceedingly low production numbers, even after this increase.

That’s not snark, it’s math.


So if I follow your line of reasoning, Tesla wasn’t very serious about EVs given the exceedingly low number of Roadsters it produced. 😀


The Roadster was produced by a small start up and was their first car (they made zero cars before it). That they were able to make 2400 Roadsters without going bankrupt was a feat with-in itself.

The Mirai is produced by Toyota who makes more than 10 million cars a year. If they wanted to go “all-in” into hydrogen they can easily make way more than just a couple thousand cars spread over a few years.


Or they could just match the Prius, which had sales of 17.7k in its first full year in Japan.


What’s “not serious” is your argument. What percentage of Tesla Motors’ entire output of cars are zero-emission vehicles?


Toyota? Not so much.

The fact that Toyota currently has the -ability- to make many times as many cars than Tesla does, is no indication of any -desire- on their part to make ZEVs.

Someone out there

The Roadster was always meant to be a proof-of-concept car, a stepping stone to larger volume cars down the line.


What makes you think the Mirai isn’t also “a stepping stone to larger volume cars down the line.”


No worries, this isn’t my first post here, and I’m well aware of the ‘Give me BEVs or give me death’ attitudes of the more, shall we say, BEV-enthusiastic members of our little corner of the blogosphere. Up to about 2013, I would have agreed that H2 was a bad option, but much has changed since 2004, and while H2/FCVs are still several years away from commercialization without subsidies (BEVs still aren’t there either, but are closer), I do think we’ve reached the point where it’s worth pushing them both.

As I mentioned in another post, this has all been thrashed out repetitively in more detail here:

so I don’t wish to repeat all those arguments again for the unpteenth time.

Get Real

Welcome GRA, I would respectfully suggest to you that if you are interested in getting off fossil fuels then hydrogen is not for you since every gram of it will be made from fossil fuels.

To further sow you the depths of the corruption involved in this hydrogen give away to big oil companies I suggest you peruse this expose of First Element Fuel, the lead hydrogen contractor in CA.

thanks, I’m well aware of how H2 can and will be made, and in California it’s required to be a minimum of 1/3rd from renewables, with some sites 100% from renewables from the get-go – the one in Orange County comes to mind. The % required from renewables will go up with time. Initially, at least, most of it will be made by central point SMR rather than forecourt electrolysis, but I see that as okay for the transition while we get people comfortable with H2 and improve the cars to the 2nd Gen – I’m not a purist, I’m an 80%er. So, just as I believe that a PHEV like a Volt is the best way to get mainstream users to transition to plug-ins as painlessly as possible, I”m willing to accept less than the ultimate transition to fossil-fuel free H2 for now. For that matter, most BEVs don’t use electricity generated renewably at the moment; here in California, the largest source is still NG. Anyway, I don’t wish to rehash every one of the cyclic arguments for and against H2 that has been thrashed out to death in much greater detail at; that thread is currently up… Read more »
GRA said: “So far I don’t see a viable business model for public charging; if a company charges enough to make a profit selling electricity at retail, they cost more than gas (in the U.S., at least) and no one will use them, but if they charge a reasonable markup over what home electricity costs but less than gas, they lose money. While there are public chargers within walking distance (0.4 miles) of me, they are Blinks, and charge $0.49/kWh for L2; QC is $0.59/kWh. Adding charging inefficiency makes the price for L2 $0.54-$0.58/kWh into the battery.” Just because Blink installed large, fancy, lit-up chargers to attract attention, and overcharge for a charge to a ridiculous degree (isn’t that why they went bankrupt?) doesn’t mean there isn’t a viable economic model for EV charge points in parking lots and at streetside parking. All you really need for EV slow charging is a 110 volt outdoor outlet. Even if there continues to be a need to identify the individual using so he can be charged a fee, something as simple as the Better Place charger would do just as well, and would cost the installer much less, which means he could… Read more »
You focus a lot on pricing, but a lot of the math doesn’t work out. FCVs, even when subsidized by the manufacturer, costs $60k for a basic model. The fuel prices are starting to roll in and it’s not good: ~$13-14/kg. Even factoring in the 2x efficiency advantage over a typical car, that’s like $6-7/gal gasoline. The stations being built do not allow long range travel (only local travel) and can’t handle a large volume of cars (25 cars per day). As for the car characteristics, FCVs are down on power compared to BEVs of the same cost. I don’t see how that will appeal to a typical car driver (which won’t care if they use fossil fuels are not, only if the car provides an advantage for them). “Having to build Superchargers in urban areas that will be routinely used by locals (because they can’t charge elsewhere) doesn’t strike me as long-term viable given ‘free for life’ charging.” While initially I was skeptical of this plan also, the math actually works out way in favor of superchargers than hydrogen stations. A 8 stall supercharger station costs $250k, and 300mph rated mile average speed per supercharger (I assume the… Read more »

JakeY, thanks for giving us some hard data on the absurdly high cost of hydrogen fuel and the equally high cost of building a hydrogen fueling station.

The high cost of a station has often been cited. What is -not- so often appreciated is how few cars each of those stations will service per day, as compared to a typical gas station. So, as you say, the cost per car is even more unaffordable.

You are either technologically under informed or not neutral. FCVs are highly subsidized and still on par price wise with the 25% margin S60. They still have a significant cost disadvantage to EREV, ICE, and BEV. Electric distribution and billing exists in every country in the world. It just needs to be made location independent for unowned or unassigned parking. 3Rd party charging stations will likely never make sense for home charging. A better case could be made for fast charging stations on highways and at convenience stores. Utility billing via V2G communication does make a lot of sense for fee based home charging. The technology is relatively simple and exists. Standards would just need to be adopted and implemented. Tesla are location aware and have a 3G connection. All that is needed is a public 120V or 240V outlet and communication protocols. Cost would be along the lines of current utility rates or perhaps neutral if the car owner chooses to offer battery power services back to the utility. It is a much, much lower cost solution than hydrogen stations. Good luck with your no loss FCV vision in sub zero temps. Might be a good idea to double… Read more »

Usually you can find a quote from Shakespeare and in this case:
“A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
Seems appropriate.


I saw one on the wild yesterday in Washington DC, I wonder how they refill the Nitrogen here, perhaps a mobile unit?

David Murray
I honestly hope this technology succeeds. Now honestly, I don’t think it will. But if Toyota is going to put a bunch of money and energy behind it then I’m going to sit back and see what happens. I personally don’t want a hydrogen car for the exact same reason I don’t want a gasoline car. I don’t want to have to go fill it up at a 3rd party station somewhere. In fact, I have a bit of the same confusion I have with regular hybrids. It just seems silly to build a regular hybrid without adding a plug. I mean, you have everything you need there for electric drive. It just needs a bit larger battery and a plug. Even if it is a weak hybrid like the PiP, it is better than any hybrid without a plug. Well, the fuel cell car makes about the same amount of sense. You have an electric drive. You have a battery. Why not add a larger battery and a plug. Allow the driver to get their daily driving energy from the home electrical socket. Use the hydrogen for longer drives. That means no trips to the gas station (or hydrogen… Read more »

Yes. It seems so silly no to have a plug which would ameliorate, to some extent, one of the major complaints against this vehicle. Then you would not have to be nuts just to get one, just a bit off track. As it is now you would complete fool to buy one, with hardly anyplace to fuel it up. Of course the 3 years of free fuel and their continued banter on the car indicate just how desperate they are to sell them. So after 3 years what happens? You have to pay for the fuel, since certainly no one would buy it from you. Curiouser and curiouser said Alice.

Get Real

I won’t support hydrogen if and until they ever find a way to make it cleanly and efficiently from H2O.
However, if big oil and Toyota want to use THEIR MONEY to build hydrogen stations I won’t complain.
I HATE them using my tax dollars to support big oil.

In any case, battery-based plug-ins are the only motorized vehicles that you can make your own fuel for using home solar and that’s why they will dominate.


Toyota plans to increase production of a “fool cell” vehicle from 700 in 2015 to 2000 in 2016?

Well, here’s my prediction: Ain’t gonna happen. They aren’t gonna find that many buyers foolish enough to buy a car which, almost everywhere in the nation, can’t find a filling station.

Alan Campbell
Toyota and the Japanese government are attached at the hip. It’s certain that the Japanese government will be responsible for many of the initial vehicles, while they try to convince the Japanese public it’s OK to drive on top of a hydrogen bomb. It’s going to be unfortunate for the one(or neighborhood) that actually has the major accident in the fuel cell vehicle. Wait….I think they automakers cover the insurance costs for the vehicle lease for a reason. Hiding the real costs. In the US however, with the vast majority living in homes with garages or condos with garages or owned/assigned parking spaces, the EV with no trip to a gas/fuel station required will rule. By 2016/2017 the ‘entry’ EV will offer 160 – 200+ miles of range(for about $3), when the daily commute is less than 40 miles. Charging each night, the EV owner starts with max range each morning. Even the apartment dweller without a home charger has 5 days of range on one charge. At over $1 Million per fueling station they won’t be popping up overnight. And a gallon equivalent of $7 – $9 per gallon, or about $75 to refuel, there is a reason why… Read more »

Toyota are so amazingly powefull that cold hard economic truths simply don’t apply to them.


5700 units worldwide over three years. That’s some mad demand they’ve got going there.


Fuel cells are dead. I’m calling it. First Hyundai announced PHEVs and BEVs. Then Honda announced PHEVs and BEVs. Toyota is now just trying to minimize their losses on their sunk costs by gaming CARB.

It is no longer even interesting. Only a miracle could save them at this point. But there will still be a few niche applications.

Someone out there
Where does this idea come from that you can’t charge your car if you live in an appartment? In urban areas you normally long-term rent your parking space, the parking space company will provide a charging point once there is enough demand. Where I live the landlord (who also manages parking) have started to offer charging points for those needing one. This will increase in the future. The thing with hydrogen is, car companies are gaming the system to get maximum green credits so they can continue to produce gas guzzlers. So the question is, why is the government propping up hydrogen? Easy: taxes. When gasoline finally starts to go away the government will also lose a ton of taxes. How do you tax the fuel to a BEV? You can’t separate out the electrons going to your car from electrons going to other places. How do you tax people charging their cars from solar panels on their roofs? However, if you “convert” these electrons to hydrogen gas you can tax the hydrogen gas. I bet that a number of years from now, when (if) the hydrogen economy is in place the government will “suddenly” realize that this hydrogen thing… Read more »

Taxation is easy. They will simply tax all vehicles based on odometer readings.

Each year cars will be mandated to get odometer read (or have readings sent wirelessly to the State) who will then fac some cent/mile

shawn marshall

so many determinists…..maybe Japan has a national energy policy which INCLUDES R&D into small site, fail safe nuclear plants (ala Babcock & Wilcox) which would provide a distributed system of electric generation and Hydrogen generation from water off peak. Seems a very cogent policy approach for an island nation with limited natural resources. I wonder if all the experts here really know what they are talking about.It’s astounding how easy it is to think Toyota and Japan are stupid and duplicitous.