Toyota Mirai First Drive Video

DEC 11 2014 BY MARK KANE 54

Toyota Mirai

Toyota Mirai was one the first to get a chance to test drive the Toyota Mirai – the first hydrogen fuel cell car scheduled for broader launch.

According to the review, the quality of Mirai is on the Lexus level, as well as the price of $57,500 (before up to $13,000 incentives).

Driving experience after two test drives are positive:

“As we reported last week, it’s a lot like a Prius that handles a bit better with good drivability. Instant torque of 247 pounds-feet helps it feel more stout than its 155 horsepower would suggest. Light steering and low center of gravity make it entertaining enough, but it’s no sport sedan. Weight is 4,078 pounds – about 600 pounds less than a Model S.”

“The operational sound is unique, with the hydrogen pump whirring away to the minor accompaniment of a quiet electric motor, wind and tire noise.”

Interesting is the part on the look of the new Toyota flagship:

“Say what you will about the car’s looks. Some may like it, others don’t but it may not matter, because this car is about what it is, not what it isn’t.

For those who find it less than beautiful, it does look better in person, though some angles have made people scratch their heads.

We spoke with a couple Toyota representatives who personally divulged they do not think it’s that attractive, adding the design was finalized in Japan. The flowing lines are supposed to symbolize the elegant and sustainable notion of air converting to water vapor.”

Despite the fact that the Japanese manufacturer intends to deliver just 3,000 units of Mirai by the end of 2017, there are apparently two new fuel cell models in development.

For more insight, jump to the video:


Categories: Toyota, Videos


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54 Comments on "Toyota Mirai First Drive Video"

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Great car at decent price point! Hope the Hydrogen infrastructure is set up sooner than later.

Big oil said: anything but battery electrics.

Japan has almost no oil in their own country; I’m not sure how Honda and Toyota got captured by the big oil conspiracy. It’s not in the country’s strategic interest.

-“hybrid, the way forward” FCV sets up this subtext.
-Environmentalism loves ZEV

Toyota, Environmentalists, Big Oil, sitting in an FCV tree? Missguided.

Japan is heavily depending on oil for all of its energy. Even more since fukushima.
The US embargo on oil is the real cause of the Pearl Harbour attack.

Japan in its present state of extremely scarce electricity (54 nuclear power stations suddenly off line) is probably the only place Hydrogen cars are truly feasible. Factories already operate at off shifts to minimize peak loading of their remaining power plants. In the USA we have gobs of electricity at very low cost available from midnight to 7 am, which makes BEV’s and PHEV’s a ‘natural fit’. That is not necessarily true in Japan currently. So while Hydrogen powered cars for the US may be silly, in places such as electricity – starved Japan they might make sense, as long as the hydrogen comes from some other source than electricity. But I expect the overall reliability of at least the first generation of H2 cars to be poor, due to the difficulty making sealed tight, corrosion-resistant joints. So even if I were Japanese H2 vehicles would be far from my first choice. A Japanese Homeowner could do far worse than installing some solar panels on his roof (provided they are legal in the prefecture), and using the Sun to charge his PHEV while the sun was out. That way, he’d be driving electrically, while not taxing Japan’s extremely scarce electricity… Read more »

That’s right. Hydrogen is only $12/kg from Shell.

And most importantly hydrogen fuel cell cars will never be produced in any significant quantities. Therefore hydrogen fuel cell cars will never create any measurable competion to oil based economy. But fuel cells help to divert the attention away from electric cars.

This is of course different with electric cars that are already serious competitors for ICE cars. Tesla is already eating Lexus sales in significant quantities and Lexus provides about 50 % of total profits that Toyota as a company is generating. Therefore Tesla alone will hurth a lot Toyota’s profitability by 2020, because Lexus sales could be halved and this kills gross margins of Lexus sales.

According to the number of hydrogen stations in CA is about to significantly leapfrog the number of Tesla supercharging stations. There are 10 now with another 50 (!) in development. Apples to
oranges but still encouraging to see. I think many people underestimate how easy it is to get hydrogen in the age of fracking. And given how much electricity in CA comes from natural gas, hydrogen’s well to wheel efficiency in that state is quite comparable.

It’s really not that comparable. NG at a CCGT plant is much more efficient.

California’s grid is under 200gCO2/kWh:
That works out to 60g/mile.

Hydrogen from NG is 16-17kgCO2/kgH2, well to tank:
Let’s call it 12 after renewable H2 (4kgCO2/kgH2) is factored in. That works out to 200g/mile.

about 80 to 95 % of Tesla Model S charging happens in own carrage overnight or at workplace or at the hotel parking lot overnight. Therefore Supercharging network is not required to be dense. It is sufficient that Tesla owners can drive for free anywhere in California – and United States, Mexico and Canada! And for this, it is not required dense supercharging network.

Supercharger network will eventually get denser when the electric car population expands and there is needed more superchargers to serve larger electric car population. But in order for supercharging network to be functional, the supercharging network is not required to be dense with low density car population. This of course is totally unlike with Hydrogen filling stations, where fuel cell car owners need to visit very often, because the range is so low.


You know they’re LOSING money on each unit, right? And that to set up a hydrogen fueling station, it’s about 2 million dollars or so. Who’s going to pay for it??? In the end, it will be the consumer that will have to carry the hydrogen infrastructure burden at about 8 dollars a gallon for a station to turn a profit within 5 years– that’s after they figure out how to measure and price it at the pump, of course. 😉

Proof? Numbers?

Toyota says they are losing money on every one. How much? They aren’t saying, but hyundai is losing about $100K/fcv and thinks toyota is losings less. It probably is around $50,000/car for the first 700. After that who knows variable costs could drop to toyota’s price. They are talking runs of 2000/year at that time. Even if they lose $50K/vehicle its only $100M/year. The fixed cost to factory improvements are $168M (source toyota) plus probably billons in R&D. Whether they make $10K per car variable cost or lose $50K per car it doesn’t make much difference in toyota’s bottom line. Hydrogen pr, lobbying, and R&D are probably larger each year than losses. California Tax payer subsidies of hydrogen stations are $220M for 100 stations. That works out to an average subsidy of $2.2M. The smallest subsidy I have seen is $700K, the largest $5M. At today’s costs toyota can’t afford to drastically ramp up fcv production and pay for many hydrogen stations, certainly not enough to get to tesla’s numbers of 33K cars this year. In a decade they may have the advances they say. Who knows? But for the next decade these cars are pre-commercial. There is no chicken… Read more »

Here you go, moron…

Section Four.

Hahahaha, good one see through!

You would celebrate a horse and carriage as long as it is not Tesla branded.

“Great car at decent price point!”

You can’t have typed that with a straight face.

Don’t forget that Toyota themselves have stated that they will have 3000 on the road in the US by the end of 2017. That number is so low it’s nothing more than yet another test programme.

Decent price point? Really? Even after losing massive amounts on the car, Toyota charges you an arm and a leg!

“it’s a lot like a Prius that handles a bit better”

Wow. A $57000 car that has less cargo and passenger space than a Prius, accelerates like a Prius and gets about the same MPGe but without the fueling infrastructure that a Prius has. Where do I sign up!

Did you see the video? it is “Lexus” quality. And with $12500 rebate+tax credit, your price is $45K. Not too bad for the trend setter types.

Fine then, compare to the “Lexus quality” Prius. The CT200h has more room than the Murai, 5 seats, looks better, costs $15k less even after $13k in incentives, costs less to fuel, and has no infrastructure problem.

How can you call this a decent price point? They’re not gonna get even a measly 3000 sales by 2017 unless they drop the price. The Cadillac ELR proved, as expected, that nobody wants to buy $40k+ cars with low performance, let alone $60k+.

My guess is it will be the size and weight of the lexus ESh but cost $6000 more even after rebates. It would be great if someone could do a comparison when its released to see what the quality is, and price with options. Want that baby seat in the back center or to put an adult back there? What about a trip to vegas? The grand canyon? Or if you move away from the hydrogen station?

Ghg? My guess is it will be a toss up once you include the ghg used to make the vehicle. Cost to fuel, well toyota will take care of you for 3 years, but after that hydrogen may be twice as expensive as gasoline (its more than 4x more today before taxes)) the fcv will use 1/3 less fuel but that means at 2x more expensive you’ll pay 1/3 more for fuel, if you can find a station. DOes it even look like an adopter vehicle compared to a volt or an i3 or a leaf or a tesla model 3 if you simply wait? Major fail here for tech leadership.

Boy, you folks have all revved up your electric motors, put them in attack mode 🙂
1) If you see the video from LA motor show, Toyota spokeswoman claimed $50 fill up for 300 miles.
2) If used in plug-in FCEV, the need for many hydrogen refueling station evaporates.
3) It’s no biggy for Toyota to spend couple of million dollars, to put up 2-3 refueling stations along I-40 to enable driving to Las Vegas and Grand Canyon.

“If you see the video from LA motor show, Toyota spokeswoman claimed $50 fill up for 300 miles.”

So a Lexus CT200h gets 42 mpg with an MSRP that is $15,000 less than the Murai even with Toyota subsidizing half of the cost and including the savings from the maximum federal and state tax incentives.

CT200h: 300 miles/42 mpg = 7.1 gallons @ current $2.60 gallon = $18.50 for 300 miles

Murai: $50 for 300 miles

Murai fuel cost is 2.7 times more than much cheaper, roomier, easier to find fuel for and better performing CT200h.

Please don’t confuse See Through with facts, he has enough trouble getting dressed each day.

The Hyundai Tucson FCV is losing a lot on each unit. Toyota is probably losing as much on each unit as it is selling for.

If Tesla had the extra cash lying around like Toyota to sell the S85 for $50,000 less than what is profitable then it would be an even better deal at around $30K. It would also get $12,500 off here in GA putting it at $27,500.

Now that would be not to bad for the trend setter types.

Save your fingers from typing…

Troll can’t grasp math, or basic physics.

I have always wanted a $57,500 Toyota Corolla S without a center rear seat that requires special fueling stations.

Saying that it is “leveraged” from Synergy isn’t exactly correct. maybe the NiMH battery is. But the motor is much larger and it is NOT a splitter parallel hybrid, but rather a series-hybrid…

Sis it just me or does it look like they stole a front grille off a Lexus or something from The Fast and Furious then stuck it on an old Ford Probe? The car is hideous! If it doesn’t handle particularly well, lacks off the line acceleration, requires hard to find fuel AND costs over $45k how in the world do you expect to sell many? At least make it look nice OR have utility like the Prius. Ugly should be a result of some useful function.

Yes, ugly should be the result of function, but welcome to the world where kids who grew up idolizing Transformers have become auto designers and customers of same.

Dieter Rams is out, crap that looks stolen from a Michael Bay movie set is in.

Maybe that’s not entirely true, but I’m no fan of most recent Japanese and Korean auto designs. I can’t think of any that don’t look busy and overwrought for no apparent reason.

Transformers look cool. This looks odd and non-functional. It as if they wanted to make art, but no one knew what art looked like, and they were afraid to speak up.

Its ok they won’t sell many, and can redesign next time. The honda fcv looks more like a ricer, so I can at least understand that look.

So “See Through” is a schill for Big Oil’s Hydrogen and Coyota.

Its no wonder you hate Tesla so much.

Whatever makes you folks happy.

The Achilles Heal is the admitted lack of available fueling stations. Of course this is the start of a host difficulties the vehicle must overcome to one day make money.
What it does have going for it is the full weight of the on and off largest automobile manufacturer in the world. Sure they can and are throwing a lot of money behind this vehicle. Only time will tell. Though I think it a laudable effort it will be the Edsel* of our time. It is unlikely that will sell as many Edsels as Ford sold in 3 years, though that a completely fair comparison. So in 10
years they will equal or surpass the number of Edsels sold.
*The Edsel is most notorious for being a marketing disaster. Indeed, the name “Edsel” became synonymous with the “real-life” commercial failure of the predicted “perfect” product or product idea.”
It was an epic failure, I think the Murai will be the same.

Simple math

No place to buy fuel = No Sales

Even if there was dense and affordable to use government sponsored network of hydrogen fueling stations, people still would not buy fuel cell cars, because fuel cell cars just sucks. They cannot ever match ICE cars in convenience. Especially if ICE car is equipped with electric motor to allow AWD (Like BMW i8).

And of course long range electric cars can outsell sell ICE cars, so there is very little market potential for fuel cell cars.

Bob Carter, senior VP of automotive operations: “Fuel cell electric vehicles will be in our future sooner than many people believe, and in much greater numbers than anyone expected.” Bob Carter, at the JP Morgan Auto Conference: “The next big thing in automotive technology is hydrogen fuel cells.” Craig Scott, national manager of advanced technologies, to the LA Times: “No one is coming to our door asking us to build a new electric car.” Mitsuhisa Kato, head of R&D: “The cruising distance is so short for EVs, and the charging time is so long. At the current level of technology, somebody needs to invent a Nobel Prize-winning battery.” Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota North America: “For long-range travel primary vehicles, we feel there are better alternatives, such as hybrids and plug-in hybrids, and tomorrow with fuel cells.” Former Toyota exec Bill Reinert: “While I don’t expect the battery car to get dramatically better, the internal combustion engine is getting phenomenally better…it’s hard to see where the case for the electric car really comes in. Is it for carbon reduction? No, you’d have to decarbonize the whole grid to make that case, and that’s not likely to happen…There’s going to continue… Read more »

There are many flaws to the logic.

1. In the larger cities space is at a premium. Why add a Hydrogen pump thats going to be barely used for a decade?

2. For cross country trips most people choose to Fly. Its cheaper and much quicker.

3. Electricity generated from hydroelectric dams and wind turbines is much cheaper than electricity generated from fosil fuels, and PV solar panels compete head to head with fosil fuels. Why wouldn’t the electric grid eventually be non carbonic.

4. Demand for longer range plug-ins is growing much faster than the the rest of the industry. How can you call yourself a full line automaker without an EV

Wow. You found 5 guys to say Evs aren’t the way to go. 5 guys can’t be wrong. “The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty – a fad.” — The president of the Michigan Savings Bank advising Henry Ford’s lawyer, Horace Rackham, not to invest in the Ford Motor Co. “Fooling around with alternating current is just a waste of time. Nobody will use it, ever.” — Thomas Edison, American inventor, 1889 (Edison often ridiculed the arguments of competitor George Westinghouse for AC power) “Dear Mr. President: The canal system of this country is being threatened by a new form of transportation known as ‘railroads’ … As you may well know, Mr. President, ‘railroad’ carriages are pulled at the enormous speed of 15 miles per hour by ‘engines’ which, in addition to endangering life and limb of passengers, roar and snort their way through the countryside, setting fire to crops, scaring the livestock and frightening women and children. The Almighty certainly never intended that people should travel at such breakneck speed.” — Martin Van Buren, Governor of New York, 1830 “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of… Read more »

Yeah, except you left out the some other cautionary quotes regarding Nuclear Power:

1). Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission: “Electricity will be Too Cheap to Meter”. (Ask FPL ratepayers how they are enjoying their dirt cheap energy).

2). Albert Einstein also stated “Nuclear Energy is a hell of a way to boil water”. Since we have a BIG “Once in a Million Years” catastrophe about every Ten years now, it shouldn’t be too much longer that the Nuclear Power Panacea that many are excited about “bloom of the Rose” wears off.

The fact that your quotes were believed show the UNIVERSAL POWER OF THE BIG EXPERT. A generally recognized “EXPERT” does not have to prove anything he says, he merely states it categorically and he can always count on a large segment of his adoring public to believe him simply because HE said it. It is probably MORE TRUE TODAY than when those quotes were stated… The vacuum cleaner dude apparently was not so knowlegeable about vacuum cleaners let alone Nuclear (he might have heard someone talk about it once) that its not a big surprise that Nuke powered vacs didn’t make it. He was only a bit wrong. Every house nowadays has Nuclear Smoke Detectors, its just we don’t call them that. “…“The energy produced by the breaking down of the atom is a very poor kind of thing. Anyone who expects a source of power from the transformation of these atoms is talking moonshine.” — Ernest Rutherford, shortly after splitting the atom for the first time….” Now this guy truly DID know what he was talking about. No one talks about secondary effects from all the daughter products of fission, nor all the ‘Once in a Million year probability’… Read more »
Yes so you just admitted to the error that you made above where you use quotes from select “experts” stating that FCVs are superior to EVs. There are many more experts in the field extolling the virtues of EVs than of FCVs. But we can ignore the experts predictions by looking at the reality right now that we can observe with our own senses. I’m currently driving an affordable EV today that fits 90% of my driving needs. It would cover 99% of my driving needs today if I could afford the more expensive longer range EV that is currently available today. I would say that with the exception of say 1% of the population whose profession requires daily long distance travel like maybe a traveling salesman an affordable 200 mile EV which is coming with the next crop of EVs in just 2-4 years will pretty much cover almost all daily driving scenarios for 99% of drivers. Why complicate things by adding a more expensive and complicated fuel distribution network that is less efficient than sending electricity over existing infrastructure? When it comes to the future of energy production, whatever combination of renewable and hopefully someday fusion, it will… Read more »

You’ve got me all wrong.. Frankly I think Fuel-Cells for motor vehicles is a sillier idea than even you think it is.

I’m merely adding a cautionary note regarding the Nuclear Power quotes, something I have to live with here in Western NY since I’m in proximity to several Canadian Plants, 50% of my local utility’s power comes from Nuclear, and I’m even more exposed to ingestion from drinking water since many rusting hulk horror-story Nuclear Plants line the Great Lakes.

The other point I’m making is that, just as you say with the H2 quotes being from ‘Psuedo – Expers’, there are plenty of “experts” in related fields that I also do not trust merely because they have SPOKEN.

Calculate the gigawatts of electricity to produce winter electricity for a given cold regions, let’s try Buffalo, for instance.
How many batteries does it take to produce that electricity for 60 days of low wind/solar.
Now calculate the square miles needed to hold them, just for Buffalo.
case closed.
Hydrogen or Nuclear if your demand is NO CO2.

the race for technical improvement is between batteries and fuel cells. Batteries have been stalled somewhat; T may have more in the pipeline for FC. FC may have an application for peaking power in the electric industry as well. Electrolyze water at light load with cheapest fleet(nuclear) and store H for later use. No need to burn gas.

“Batteries have been stalled somewhat”

I don’t see a stall in this chart.

Remember the important thing for the fuel cell lobby is to pretend we are in 2002. DOn’t look at actual costs that can be driven down by simple manufacturing improvements. There really are no “breakthroughs” for lithium, simple small improvements. FCV may have breaktrhoughs but by definition this is unpredictable, and fcv have improved much less in this last decade than those fuel cell advocates promised.

On so many levels this Toyota Mirani makes no sense. Hydrogen Makes good bombs for the military but it’s a horrible fuel source for cars. I have four sons and I don’t want to see anyone of them risk their lives in a foreign country to protect or preserve my way of life here in America, so I’m motivated as much as anyone out there to get off of fossil fuel, but hydrogen fuel cells does not make any sense at all. I wouldn’t even bother going into all the reasons why this car should never be on the road. I pity anyone who buys this car.
I think what Toyota is doing with the Mirani is similar to what Nissan did with the Nissan Cube. Nissan was promoting the cube as the first electric car they were going to bring to market, then at the last minute they came out with the Nissan Leaf. I think Toyota is going to come out with a very competitive electric vehicle that will surprise most people.

I wouldn’t think that is very likely. Believe me, I have plenty of skepticism about fuel-cell cars. But your concerns are not one of them. To my knowledge, right now natural gas is the best source of hydrogen. Natural gas is all domestically produced. So I don’t think we’d ever be importing that.

With the Big Oil/Koch Brothers financed Republican takeover we are going to see these forces of regression finance a HUGE PUSHBACK against all things renewable/sustainable like EVs and wind/solar.

The Fossil Fools industry is obviously paying many shills to spread the hydrogen green washing myth far and wide including right here on Autoblog Green.

This is InsideEVs, not Autoblog Green. Are you posting the same comment on every website that has a Toyota Mirai story? Are you a paid EV shill? 😉

When the producers of Hydrogen say they haven’t figured out a way to price Hydrogen, that is nonsense. They haven’t price it because they don’t want to. They want to create a market for hydrogen so they are giving it away free at this time. The producers are interested in producing profitable energy not necessarily clean energy. They would like to control the world energy supply like they do today with oil. It is much harder to control electricity. I believe Toyota is collaborating with hydrogen producers because hydrogen makes no sense.