Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan Now Named “Mirai” (w/video)

NOV 17 2014 BY MARK KANE 93

Toyota's Fuel Cell Sedan

Toyota’s Fuel Cell Sedan

The Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan scheduled to debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show recently got its official presentation and name – “Mirai“, which in Japanese means “future”.

Toyota president Akio Toyoda, who’s personally heavily involved in the FCV project, stated that this is the turning point for the automotive industry.

What we still need to figure out is if the “future” also means “today” for fuel cell cars.

The strong points for FCV, emphasized by the manufacturer, is range of 300 miles on a single tank of hydrogen and refueling time of less than five minutes.

To use fuel cell cars someone must build hydrogen stations. Toyota North America just announced a new commitment to drive the development of a hydrogen refueling infrastructure in five northeastern U.S. states.

“To support Mirai’s introduction to the region in 2016, Toyota is collaborating with Air Liquide to develop and supply a phased network of 12 state-of-the-art hydrogen stations targeted for New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. The states and locations have been strategically selected in the greater New York and Boston areas to provide the backbone of a hydrogen highway for the Northeast corridor. Specific details of the collaboration will be revealed in the coming months.”

Earlier, Toyota announced support for hydrogen infrastructure development in California.  A $7.3 million loan will go to FirstElement Fuels to support the operations and maintenance of 19 hydrogen fueling stations across the state.

Toyota North America chief executive officer (CEO) Jim Lentz stated:

“Toyota’s vision of a hydrogen society is not just about building a great car, but ensuring accessible, reliable and convenient refueling for our customers. I am happy to announce that this vision will expand beyond the borders of California and give customers the opportunity to join the fuel cell movement.”

Below is video and transcription on Mirai:


Today, we are at a turning point in automotive history.

A turning point where people will embrace a new, environmentally-friendly car that is a pleasure to drive.

A turning point where a four-door sedan can travel 300 miles on a single tank of hydrogen, can be refueled in under five minutes and emit only water vapor.

A turning point that represents many years and countless hours of work by our team to create a car that redefines the industry.

All of us at Toyota believe in a future that will be safer, greener and easier for everyone.

We imagined a world filled with vehicles that would diminish our dependence on oil and reduce harm to the environment.

It was a bold, but inspiring goal. And, today it is a reality.

Our fuel cell vehicle runs on hydrogen that can be made from virtually anything, even garbage!

It has a fuel cell that creates enough electricity to power a house for about a week.

This is a car that lets you have it all with no compromises.

As a test driver, I knew this new fuel cell vehicle had to be truly fun to drive – and believe me, it is. It has a low center of gravity, which gives it very dynamic handling.

After surviving millions of miles on the test track and 10 years of testing on public roads in freezing cold and scorching heat…

After passing extensive crash tests…

And after working with local governments and researchers around the world to help make sure it is easy and convenient to refuel…

We are ready to deliver.

The name we’ve given to our new car is Mirai, which in Japanese means “future.”

We believe that behind the wheel of the Mirai, we can go places we have never been, to a world that is better, in a car that is better.

For us, this isn’t just another car. This is an opportunity – an opportunity to really make a difference. And making a difference is what Toyota is all about.

The future has arrived. And it’s called Mirai.”

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93 Comments on "Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan Now Named “Mirai” (w/video)"

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Mirai = mirage

You beat me to it!!!

Why did Toyota even bother spending millions of dollars and thousands of hours of development from talented engineers when all they had to do was to create an electric vehicle that could directly compete with the Tesla Model S. Now Toyota wants to create the hydrogen refueling infrastructure when the world’s electrical grids had been established . Toyota wants to be like Tesla in this aspect. Tesla vehicles make a whole lot of sense. Expanding Tesla’s supercharging stations is easier than building hydrogen fuel stations and are less costly by the way. Good luck Toyota.

The advantages of fuel cells are highlighted in the north east, where in winter they will not suffer from the heavily compromised range of BEVs in cold weather.

Presumably Toyota has this in mind in making the early move to the region in addition to gaining ZEV credits there.

“The advantages of fuel cells are highlighted in the north east, where in winter they will not suffer from the heavily compromised range of BEVs in cold weather”.
They will suffer because infrastructure will not be there.

Toyota has said that is what they are building.

We shall see.

@ Big Solar “[Fuel cells] will suffer because the infrastructure is not there.” In NYC the infrastructure for EVs is not there either, and probably won’t be there in my lifetime. It was actually much easier for me to find a place to fill a CNG vehicle, than it was for me to find a public charger to charge an EV for the six months when didn’t have the ability to charge at home. Also, filling up with CNG was MUCH cheaper than charging at a public charger. The reason why it was much easier and cheaper to to fill with CNG than charge with electricity is because practically all the public EV infrastructure in NYC is located in parking garages which cost $25+ to park at, in addition to the exorbitant rates you have to pay for actually charging. Meanwhile, there were plenty of places to get a CNG fill, even in Manhattan at a significantly lower price than a gallon of gasoline equivalent of energy. The local gas utility allowed CNG vehicle owners to fill at most of their facilities across the city. The much heralded NYC law that required 20% of new parking spaces to be “EVSE… Read more »

CNG is not Hydrogen. It is much much more expensive to install hydrogen infrastructure. Electric is everywhere already so it is Much much much cheaper to install. I did not say NYC parking garages would not take advantage of it however nor I did not say that charging stations are all in place at this point in time. Also, how many CNG cars are on the road?

Also in Japan where they are heavily subsidized. In an island nation like Japan, or Iceland, which has invested heavily in hydrogen fueling stations they are viable. Anywhere else they are dead in the water. (H2O).
At least there will not be long lines to refuel, since no one will drive them.
Although eventually, per Azimoz, and others well will a hydrogen society, in about a 100 years, maybe. so I guess it is the future, just no any of ours.

“Heavily compromised”? the difference in loss of efficiency between a leaf ans a similar ICE car is 10%

The more the range of the batteries, the less the loss. Right now Tesla lose about only 10% range at zero degrees.

On a 90 miles range EV the loss is bigger but 65% of the loss is due to cabin and components heating. BUT this is a CONSTANT factor.

So as batteries get 500 miles or more, this loss will shrink to nothing in the near future.

Did you know that your ICE car loose also 20% efficiency in the cold?

The difference is that BEVs will reduce this loss, and ICEs never will !


I referred to range in cold weather.
Check out the forums for average range, and plenty of BEV drivers have a lot to say about it.

A fuel cell vehicle also runs several hundred degrees cooler than an ICE, which is why the Toyota has those large vents.

Presumably closing them is going to help efficiency a lot in the cold, and in any case there is not the mass of an engine block to be got up to high temperature, running very inefficiently and spewing pollution whilst it does it.

If those vents aren’t Hunter Douglass, I’m not buyin’

So did I.
Check the link.
I live North of the North-East. I know what it is like.

With an EV or an hybrid, your car ALWAYS start instantly at -40° !

A fool cell vehicle is basically a BEV with an inefficient hydrogen-to-electricity converter.

And for pollution, Hydrogen generation ALWAYS emits tons of CO² since it is 95% from NG fracking.


I am not interested in debate with someone who thinks repeating PR slogans displays is appropriate and intelligent discourse.

If you decide to actually think instead of sloganise, check out the perfectly well demonstrated fine cold weather performance of the Toyotas.

Start thinking.

In California at least a third of hydrogen for transport is mandated to come from renewables.
This can easily be met from waste water treatment, biogas etc.
It is a bit more expensive than hydrogen from natural gas, but perfectly practical.

I am not sure about the other ZEV states.

Oh! Yeah! Sure, Big hydrocarbons will prefer to pay more to produce their hydrogen and discard their dirty shale gas market…

It will take a whole bunch of water that we don’t have to make that green H2, plus gobs more electricity compared to just putting the electricity in a EV.

It’s not a token including increase in cost, but it is grossly more expensive than just electricity in an EV.

Oh come on now. I don’t think FCVs have a chance to solve their cost and infrastructure issues, but water use is not an issue.

Water use is an issue if you look at Fracking. Without the fracking it would not be a big issue.

The other reason is, there are only 4 metro areas in US that are early adopters of new energy vehicles: San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles, Atlanta and North East. California is already installing H2 refueling stations in partnerships with others, so that leaves only North East and Atlanta as major markets that need refueling stations at the beginning.

BTW, Toyota named the car ‘Mirai’ 4 months ago when it released it for sale in Japan.

As it does nothing for global warming and will be more expensive the EV’s who in their right mind is going to buy this thing?

CARB needs to drop this boondoggle.

It’s a Dead End Technology, and has been since the Volt.

Are you talking about Tesla Model S? If so, agreed.

See thru, I’d love to see you waste more of your worthless time explaining that one to us. Let’s hear it. Give us details please.

ok so did everyone see the Chademo port in the video?
Now this I can buy into, EV with fuel cell and chademo DCFC, might as well have j1712

yeah I saw the same thing… is this thing a PHEV (EV with Hydrogen Backup)?

So, let me get this staight.
Limited EV range ( range anxiety ),
and Limited Fuel Cell stations ( range Anxiety ).

Yes, this IS going to be a Winner ( for no one ).

CARB should STOP this Bull.

the chademo was behind a trim flap in the trunk

it makes sense , if you are low on fuel you can hit the DCFC for another 20 or so miles of EV range to get to the nearest hydrogen station instead of the flatbed tow truck

all hydrogen cars have a battery its just smaller than an EV figure 8-12kwh

“all hydrogen cars have a battery its just smaller than an EV figure 8-12kwh”

The Hyundai Tucson only has a 0.95 kWh battery:

Mirai = future = someday, and we all know someday never comes.
Though I do admire Toyota’s persistence, I feel it is misplaced. They seems to be carrying a torch for fuel cell vehicles which is probably a tortured but correct analogy.

The “future” looks fugly.

What is the Cd on this monstrosity?

I wonder if those huge intakes make it susceptible to bird strikes near airports?!

Hydrogen is just Don Quixote chasing the windmills of zero tail-pipe emissions. For far less money, we could go much faster, and accomplish much more. We won’t because engineers are paid not to focus on cost, as paymasters like Toyoda dig in against PHEV/BEV. We won’t have total saturation of DCFC for a long time, because policy had to make way for a few multi-million dollar hydrogen units, and their pricey fuel. Instead of going from <5% hybrid/BEV/PHEV penetration, to maybe 20%, or 30%, in MA, we should aim much lower as confusion, FUD, policy dollars and critical charging infrastructure stall. Congratulations Toyota.

Any idea of how much it will cost?

Circa: 70K U.S.D. (cough)!

Now, circa $60K (laught!) due to dollar appreciation against yen.
Lower than a deeply discounted Model S 60 that has 200 mile range, with 1 hour recharge time at supercharger, and a day to charge at home.

You neglected to mention that the Model S has over 120 cubic feet of interior volume and over 300 hp.

The Mirai is a $60k Prius.

Less than 3% of the country drives more than 200 miles a day. What is with this long range thing? Its total BS!

Here is the Bloomberg article with pricing:

“Toyota has said previously the car will go on sale in Japan in April for about 7 million yen ($60,300), with U.S. and European introductions a few months later. “

It’s becoming clearer that regardless of the hydrogen emphasis, this is really an electric car with a range extender that happens to be a fuel cell. With an 8-12 kWh battery it sits somewhere between an Energi PHEV and a Volt EREV.

If it really has that charging flexibility then this FCV could end up using as little hydrogen as some Volt owners use little gasoline. Doesn’t seem as bad from that perspective, regardless of the scarcity and cost of filling stations.

Maybe. It could also have that 6 mile “wonder battery” they have in the Prius plugin.
Wonder, as in, I wonder why they bother? 🙂

Ha! Yeah, a Prius size battery would be totally useless.

Even if it had a larger battery, the fuel cell is useless w/out a hydrogen infrastructure.

Its got a ~1kwh battery pack, the same one as in the regular, non plug in, Prius.
You are confusing power, kilowatts, with energy, kilowatt hours.

That sort of confusion can lead to some difficulties in accurate evaluation, but never mind.

I don’t think there was confusion on the point made.

If it had a large capacity battery (kWh) it could operate predominately in electric mode, like a Volt could. If it has a small Prius like battery, then it’s running primarily on hydrogen and battery would only be used to smooth out the power peaks.

The missed opportunity of not having a large battery with home charging is greater dependency on hydrogen stations, which will be few and far between for some time.

As an FCV advocate, surely you could the advantages of an FCV EREV during a potentially long transition period (some might say infinitely long, but that’s a different arguement).

kW, not kWh (my bad on typo)

Sorry, kWh (doing two things at once, not paying attention…)

He advocates it all the time.

What he doesn’t understand is that Toyota has no interest in having FCV customers get used to plugging in.

Why have a CHADEMO port for a 1kWh battery?

As mentioned elsewhere, it’s there to power your house.

Perfect name: Hydrogen is the “Mirai” and always will be;)

Yes Mirai can be translated as Mirage, something you see in the distance but that always gets further when you move close.

No, it can’t. Don’t spread BS and nonsense. Get some crash course in Japanese first, then come back when you are ready.

Its sooo funny watching you pretend to be intelligent.

Regional buildout of infrastructure in the northeast corridor makes sense, as does the backup EV charging for Fuel Cell Vehicles.

Refueling speed and range is there for Hydrogen. Realistically, I see hydrogen more useful for Tractor Trailers than personal vehicles. First for short haul areas like ports and regional deliverys and eventually for long haul. Granted, the buildout of LNG stations may challenge hydrogen, but the emissions and the noise advantages of fuel-cells may tip the balance.

Hydrogen lost all relevance as soon as the Volt was released.

Who’s going to pay for the 2 Million Dollar gas station conversion? Toyota or Exxon.

Disagree. Energy carrier capacity of hydrogen will be more useful the larger the vehicle, along with the faster refueling times.

Volt is a fantastic personal vehicle, but it’s not going to displace diesel trucks. hydrogen will.

I think the CNG superhighway will replace diesel before Hydrogen will. And if the hydrogen is coming from CNG, then I don’t see the point of switching to Hydrogen.


The CHAdeMO port is for Car to Grid, not charging.

Hmmmm. . .

I think the battery will be a little too small for V2G to make any sense.

So the intent is to use hydrogen to power your house during the tsunami outage… Are you sure about that? If so, what a wasted opportunity for a viable EREV concept.

The Honda has a 9kw output as well.
These are early days, and the intention is simply to get fuel cell cars on the road and some infrastructure developed.

Other models, PHEVs etc can come later.
The VW at the LA Autoshow is likely a PHEV however, but VW for fuel cell cars is heroically letting someone else break the ground, just as they did for BEV.

This is Purely a CARB vehicle and nothing else.

That is a fine explanation for why they are offering it in other countries without CARB.

The intention is to get off fossil hydrogen and educate hydrogen addict to get free from their hard hydrogen drug addiction.

That makes more sense. If it was a PHEV it should have a J1772 instead (and in a convenient place). No one has a CHAdeMO charger at their house.

Presumably this is the Japanese model, and the idea may be to provide V2G power points so that they can be used in an emergency for the city grid rather than the house.

It doesn’t seem a good way of going about it to me either, but presumably it would not be too difficult to use other discharge connectors, as long as it is set up to provide power in the first place, so this may only be by way of example.

If you can park close enough to power your house from your car during an emergency, don’t you think you’d want to power your car from your house the rest of the time?

Apparently it has a small battery, like a hybrid, so there is nothing to charge up. The fuel cell is effectively powering the house.

Plop goes Tesla’s battery storage business.

Not at all because the in out yield of a battery is way higher than the electrolysis of water to produce hydrogen, the compression of that hydrogen in a storage tank and the retransformation of that hydrogen into electricity. The only place where it could have found an application was in very large energy storage systems but unfortunately there too it is not interesting because pump storage is cheaper and still has a higher efficiency too.

The only and only place where I would see an interest in hydrogen energy storage is on a large scale energy storage on the Moon where it would indeed be convenient since it would not be easy to make a pump storage system. There is not enough water, that cannot be exposed on the surface and in more the low gravity doesn’t help at all. The Hydrogen storage could there provide for a convenient way to store excess photovoltaic energy of the 14 day Moon day to overcome the 14 day Moon night.

It’s a completely different business.

H2 to power a house or the grid is for low use backup power. The fuel is expensive: $5/kg works out to 25c/kWh, assuming a generous 20kWh/kgH2 efficiency, and $8+/kg will be the norm for a decade.

Batteries shave your demand charges. The cost per kWh is the same as normal grid cost.

ST, you just can’t be that unintelligent.

Hydrogen cars are lighter then BEVs, and refuel faster. There are 100,000 gas stations in the US which make very tempting spots for hydrogen conversion. Soon there will be more hydrogen stations in California than superchargers–and fuel cell cars can still plug in at home for short commutes.

Cost and efficiency remain key hurdles. Cheap solar on the horizon seems posed to solve the infrastructure issues: even simple electrolysis from solar allows for local hydrogen generation, either at the pump or at home. It’s not efficient, but soon solar will be so cheap that it won’t matter. The main problem will be cheap local storage of surplus solar energy, and hydrogen solves that problem nicely.

Can FCVs really be plugged in at home?

I wasn’t aware of that. I know future theoretical PHEVs could have a fuel cell instead of an ICE but wasn’t aware any are on the market or predicted any time soon.

“Soon there will be more hydrogen stations in California than superchargers–and fuel cell cars can still plug in at home for short commutes.”

I don’t think that there will be more hydrogen fueling capacity than SuperCharger capacity for more than 20 years, if ever. By capacity, I mean possible miles fueled per day. It is possible that there may be more hydrogen stations (sites with one or two pumps) than SuperCharger stations (sites with 8-12 stalls) but the ability to re-fill miles per day will be higher for the Tesla network than all of the hydrogen network for a long time.

One more point. None of the FCEVs announced for public sale or leasing have the ability to charge from the grid. This is clearly the best way to use hydrogen – as a range extender – but this is not how they are currently designed. The only one I know of is the Kangoo currently in testing in France. As stated above, the CHAdeMO shown in this video is for emergency power export, not vehicle charging – at least until stated otherwise by Toyota.

I agree. Using a fuel cell as an EV range extender makes much more practical sense, especially with so few places to fill for the foreseeable future.

The Murai can only serve a demonstration function in captive service, but I guess we already knew that based on the price and styling.

That’s not true. Volkswagen has already announced plans for plug-in FCEVs.

VW announced plans for a R8 e-tron back in 2009, they still haven’t gotten around to building a production version (and it was even cancelled back in 2013, although recently revived). And that’s with having concept and multiple prototype vehicles.

So having VW having some vague plans for a plug-in FCV doesn’t really mean much.

VW has announced nothing of the sort.

A VW official made some vague comments about that being the sensible way to build FCVs, but in the same breath said H2 won’t work outside Japan’s heavy subsidies and small area.

It is almost fictional to be talking about hydrogen storage. I think George has talked about this, too. Solar isn’t much beyond 1% of even the California grid. It performs at peak, the last time when storage (like pumped storage for hydro) would be needed. It all sounds nice, in theory, but cheaper, less sexy ways of melting salt, or re-purposing auto batteries, will get there first.

connected to your home, does it also means that your solar panels on the roof can generate power to the car which can convert electricity to hydrogen?

I don’t lile FCV because of the efficienty is so bad. And look at the price, little bit more and you could by a TESLA Model S!

ugly, dont like it

Im surprised that they used the Toyota brand given the $70k price tag. Why not use Lexus? Having just rented a Toyota for last week I would have a hard time shelling out $70k for a Toyota.

Although I am against FCV in general, I’m happy that the Toyota FCV is finally getting here.

Let it try to compete with PHEVs. If it can compete and win, so be it.
if not, we can then move on.

The battle isn’t really FCV vs EV. it’s FCV vs PHEV.
With the exception of apartment dwellers who can’t plug in (who also probably can’t afford a PHEV), so far nobody has adequately explained what problem the FCV solves that isn’t solved by a PHEV.

And the PHEV does it for cheaper with already built infrastructure.

(Im talking passenger vehicles here. Fleet is a different story)

Yes, who will buy a TOYOTA for 70 Dollar! Ha ha…Lexus would be right.

Akio Toyoda isn’t competent and should be giving the hand over to someone up to the job before he end up sinking the entire Toyota company he inherited with this fool cell mistake fossil lobbied addiction.

time shall tell the story ,but who in there right mind is going to buy a 70k hydro gen car,even with a 20k one .it took me four months just to buy a leaf ,and there wasn’t 10% of the risk of buying this car !
I want the latest teck guy (maybe),a school or two.that’ four sells.i don’t see any family’s buying a 70k iphone .