Toyota Mirai Now On Sale In California – Gullwing Mirai Concept Debuts

OCT 23 2015 BY MARK KANE 77

2015 Toyota U.S. Mirai Launch

2015 Toyota U.S. Mirai Launch

2015 Toyota U.S. Mirai Launch

2015 Toyota U.S. Mirai Launch

Toyota tied its U.S. Mirai sales launch in with the “Back to the Future” anniversary. Not without a reason as Mirai in Japanese means Future.

With over 2,000 “trailblazers“, who placed order requests for Mirai, it was the right time for launch.

We are not sure how many Mirai were sold/delivered, but probably only a few?

“Movie magic sometimes turns into technological reality. Last night more than 300 new Toyota Mirai owners, Mirai dealers and special guests watched actors Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd bring a famous trash-into-fuel scene from “Back to the Future Part II” into the present. The occasion: a celebration to mark the U.S. arrival of Toyota’s Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle — a modern, real-life version of Doc Brown’s trash-fueled technology. The “Fueled by the Future” video debuted at the event is the last in the “Fueled By Everything” online video series demonstrating hydrogen fuel’s potential to be sourced from almost anything, including solar, wind and trash.

Today marked the official on-sale date of the Mirai, the same date that was “the future” in the storied Universal franchise. More than 2,000 people so far have requested to buy a Mirai in California, where it is first available. The party celebrated those trailblazers with food, décor and conversation inspired by the “Back to the Future” vision of 2015. New owners representing each of the dealership locations in Southern and Northern California received ceremonial keys. They will be behind the wheel soon.

“A piece of the future is now a reality with the Toyota Mirai,” Lloyd said. “Compared to some other technologies predicted in the film, like rehydrated pizza or self-tying shoes, this technology has the real potential to change the world.”

“Back to the Future” films will be in theaters on October 21 only and also available in a new Blu-Ray and DVD box set. While drivers can’t exactly throw soda cans and banana peels into the Mirai fuel tank and expect to cruise the roads of California, organic waste can decompose and produce biogas at landfills. This gas can be purified into and converted into hydrogen for fuel. The only emission from the Mirai’s tailpipe is water.”

Bill Fay, Toyota division group vice president and general manager said:

“This moment celebrated the intersection between the U.S. arrival of the Mirai and the 30th anniversary of an iconic film. We were thrilled to mark the occasion with a video featuring the film’s original stars Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, reminding our first Mirai owners that they will be driving a future we could only dream of 30 years ago.”

2015 Toyota U.S. Mirai Launch

2015 Toyota U.S. Mirai Launch

2015 Toyota U.S. Mirai Launch

2015 Toyota U.S. Mirai Launch

Back to the Future Mirai Concept

Back to the Future Mirai Concept

Also on the scene was a new Mirai concept with gullwing doors, sort of resembling the DeLorean.

Back to the Future Mirai Concept lost its rear doors too.

It’s really stunning how much marketing effort Toyota has put into Mirai, especially compared to weak effort seen by most electric car manufacturers.

At the same time Toyota notes just marginal sales (the plan is for 700 Mirai this year, 2,000 in 2016 and 3,000 – worldwide). Even in 5 years, planned Mirai sales will be lower than Nissan LEAF and Tesla Model S today, which leaves us without an answer on return on investment.

“Also on-hand at the event were two exclusive “Back to the Future”-inspired vehicles. The first re-imagined Doc Brown’s time machine as a customized Mirai, complete with gullwing doors and a heads-up display of the time-traveling destination. The second was a re-creation of Marty McFly’s dream truck using the all-new 2016 Toyota Tacoma that went on sale in September. The tricked out truck is a fan-favorite in the “Back to the Future” trilogy and a natural movie connection for Toyota. Fans in Los Angeles, New York and Dallas today can see that truck in major tourist destinations.”

Back to the Future Mirai Concept

Back to the Future Mirai Concept

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77 Comments on "Toyota Mirai Now On Sale In California – Gullwing Mirai Concept Debuts"

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The ROI will be negative for the life of the vehicle, i.e. as long as it is in production.

With the beauty of the original Edsel.


Unless the investment is actually just greenwashing for the company. So even if they never sold a single Mirai, it can be their green/futuristic halo that allows them to appear to be on top the mountain and sell all of their other profit-makers.

I suspect you will see them in a lot of government fleets as vip cars, and show, as in on display, cars for efforts in congested areas, the London story. So green-washing does give some return in the form of goodwill. I will grant that.
Also I think Japan is really helping a lot in their own country to get these vehicles into use, while building out the Hydrogen supply network.

Bingo, kdawg. Toyota brass figures (as any competitor must hedge to some degree) there’s some chance. But even if there isn’t, they still plan on reaping the greenwashing “cred.”

In five years the Gigafactory will still have negative ROI as well–heck, Tesla’s entire retained earnings will still be negative. In the energy and transportation sectors, the time horizon is long.

The marketing push here makes sense, as this car exists only to spur infrastructure investments. It’s the minimum viable product.

Yes, it makes perfect sense to design, build, and produce a car that will never make a profit.

We can say exactly the same thing about Model S. Tesla makes money only on ZEV credits. Toyota will make money on Mirai selling ZEV credits, AND licensing its patents.

No you can’t truthfully say the same thing about the Model S.

Never stopped him before.


+ another 1000

See Through said:

“We can say exactly the same thing about Model S. Tesla makes money only on ZEV credits.”

Well, you’ve certainly proven that you can post the same lie over and over. I suppose you keep hoping that someday, if you keep trying, there will finally be one person somewhere who swallows your lies.

But outside the fantasy world of Tesla-hating trolls, Tesla makes a 23-25% gross profit margin on the Model S.

Let’s be more specific about what’s wrong with this statement. The Model S itself is profitable, but the profits then go to build the charging network and the development costs for the Model 3. Whereas Toyota’s model is to let some other entity do the dirty work of building a refueling network (a much greater cost) while it kicks in a subsidy for owners to use that network for free for a couple of years. To judge these models you need to know what happens to the networks. If other EV makers weren’t so damn NIH they would pay to use the Tesla network and it would pay for itself. The bulk of the cost of hydrogen refueling networks will likely be picked up by various governments, but it’s likely that all the FCV cars will use them.

Lol! Who is interested in Toyota’s patents?

THe way ROI is normally calculated has a useful life calculation inside, so in 5 years it is doubtful that Gigafactory will have negative ROI, unless all of a sudden the plant and equipment no longer work in 5 years.

The Mirai, factory and equipment though will be pretty much fully depreciated in 5 years. This ia a strategic investment. The key to the investment is convincing the government to give it more money (tesla no longer needs to do that, its got all the government money it needs). The japanese government appears to be spending about $60K/car, still toyota will lose money if their is not a second and a third generation. That is much more a risk than tesla, but … toyota has much deeper pockets. They can afford to lose anouther $4B on the project. GM wasted over $2B on hydrogen fiasco that they couldn’t afford, but US tax payers bailed that out.

That’s very smart of Toyota. In 5 years battery advances will wipe the hydrogen solution out.

In fact No Business on Earth would plan for a 5 year product spin out, and then be dead. Toyota is a funny company.
You’d almost have to be Bribed or Extorted to continue to roll this disaster out.

Close- California ZEV credits are rent seeking

Though it’s possible the bribery or extortion was in getting the ZEV credits assigned from ARB to hydrogen. This, in a complete disregard for thermodynamics as well as finance.

liberty said:

“THe way ROI is normally calculated has a useful life calculation inside, so in 5 years it is doubtful that Gigafactory will have negative ROI, unless all of a sudden the plant and equipment no longer work in 5 years.”

Yes, I too found the assertion that the Gigafactory will still be running in red ink in five years to be questionable. Early indications are that Tesla’s PowerPack (the larger, commercial/industrial version of PowerWall) is going to experience an explosive growth market. If so, then the Gigafactory should start showing a profit relatively quickly, perhaps within a couple of years after production begins, even despite ongoing costs of building the Gigafactory and tooling it up over a five year period.

I’m hoping that other customers are found. Now that we’re transitioning from laptops to tablets, those batteries may be too big to fit in personal computing devices. However, I see new kinds of rechargeable portable electronics appearing.

What other automakers would be willing to buy Tesla/Panasonic batteries? I guess the ones that aren’t out to destroy Tesla. So someone building a less-expensive car, or a PHEV. Maybe a foreign company will ship gliders to the US to have Tesla battery packs installed for US-only sales.

Tesla’s assets are growing rapidly.
It’s expansion into new business areas is also exemplary.

“Toyota Mirai Now On Sale In California”

Well, there goes the neighborhood. 🙁

Don’t worry forecasts are down graded to 100 cars in the US this year, 900 in 2016. That is probably 900 leased and 100 sold. I don’t think only 100 sales in the next 14 months will kill the neighborhood.

Since those few will then be driven few miles, “the neighborhood” impacted will be small

LOL. Where are the usual Telsa bashers that droned on incessantly about how the Model X falcon wing doors were the worst idea ever in automotive history.

Well here is the prize of the HFCV fleet with GULL wing doors. Hilarious. Let’s show a video of those doors trying to open in a parking lot next to other parked cars.

I know it’s just a show car trying to tie in to BTTF but still ridiculous. I wonder how much money Universal got from Toyota to whore out its Back to the Future franchise to them?

I briefly wondered that too, then it dawned on me its just the way we are.
We have our prejudicial views and will not be shaken or stirred from them, even when another product displays an inferior version of the same thing, we will not deride it, since it is not the abhorred company producing that product.

Similar to the favored/disfavored child phenomenon, whereas both children do similar wrong things but only one is punished.

The gull-winged Mirai is only a concept car. Carping about the wholly impractical, and sometimes downright foolish, things that auto makers put on concept cars would be a full-time hobby, if one actually wanted to waste time on that.

Remember the ridiculously low roofline on the Volt concept car? Did anyone actually believe that GM was gonna put a car with those impractical windows (and windshield) into production? If they did, they were wasting their time.

only emission is water, so why would it need a tailpipe? cant the water just run out of a tube straight down below the car?

It does.

Don’t forget the cup, shaken for California ZEV credits. Or rather, shaking down:

I didn’t think it was easy to rob BOTH the regulators and the public in one move, but the lie just keeps going.

OK. So it’s “on sale”. Any SoCal folks take delivery yet?

Let’s ask Jaime Lee Curtis- Honda FCV driver, now Tesla _buyer_. Of two Teslas, at that. Won’t get fooled again.

Let’s pretend for a moment you aren’t a Tesla shill. The Mirai is half the price of an actual Tesla. The Tesla 1%ers likely have several cars, some of which are just for vanity.

But … none of that was the question – has anyone taken retail delivery of a Mira? That was the question.

Nobody bought FCVs. And … Jay Leno has one.

If Tesla produced such few cars at such a high price relative to performance the media would be all over them.

Somehow Toyota gets a free ride in the media, there’s some mild scepticism but generally that’s it.

IMO the only way FCEV will become a success if they’re plug-in hybrids, which I think is a great compromise.

Obviously Toyota know better than we do though. /s

Toyota’s too big to be a short target.
Tesla is a Wall Street manipulation target because they Make a Lot of Money on Volatility. The Pump and Dump Cycle.

News organizations, many of which are affiliated with networks, know which side of the bread their bread is buttered on. When Toyota is throwing around cash to put the ‘future’ on display you would be stupid to disparage the product. No more press passes to events.
Eventually though if someone respected does an in depth piece showing all the Mirai’s problems and how it is really is not the future in the least, then the press could turn on them like a pack of ravenous wolves.

So what you’re saying, is that in order for Tesla to stop getting bad press, they need to advertise. 😉

Tesla is like Apple–drop it in a headline and it will get clicks (i.e. advertising dollars) because it is a hot brand. Media will continue to run Tesla through a hero-to-zero cycle to keep people coming back. Frankly, the only time someone will click on a headline about GM or Toyota is if they are getting someone killed.

Yes, that makes sense.

I find it weird that Elon’s explanation on why fuel cells are “extremely stupid” were never really followed up by the press…

The press likes to focus on who, what, and when. They don’t like to spend the time necessary to go into depth on “why”.

This problem of the news media focusing on “sound bites” and headlines, rather than substantive analysis and investigative journalism, is one of several factors which has caused political discourse in America to become so unproductive.

Someone at Toyota knows how to play the media like a fiddle, especially since most outlets have had to cut their science staff. Just like someone at the Lexus division knows how to put on a hoverboard demonstration for tech cred, despite that vehicle being unusable in the real world due to reliance on an impractical fluid.

Oh wait, that would be both marques, vehicles, and fluids!

You must be a lot of fun at parties. :-/

krona2k said:

“IMO the only way FCEV will become a success if they’re plug-in hybrids, which I think is a great compromise.”

I don’t understand why some people keep saying this. The physics and the economic reality which make hydrogen fuel wholly impractical, and makes H2 fueling stations huge money losers, are exactly the same whether the car is running on hydrogen fuel all the time, or only part of the time.

Again: The problem with “fool cell” cars isn’t the cars, but the fuel.

I’d rather say” The problem with foolcell car isn’t the car nor the fuel, but the fool themself”

Yes, you could make a better argument for a natural gas/hybrid since it also would need big, heavy tanks but it wouldn’t need to refuel as often and there are more places that dispense CNG and the national distribution pipeline is already in place. However, why not just make a natural gas fuel cell in the first place? Chrysler was working on that before it went bankrupt.

I’m no fan of fuel cells in the way that Toyota a promoting them. However I can see that it’s possible that hydrogen could be used as a true zero emissions energy carrier at some mythical point in the future.

I don’t think it will come to pass though, as large, cheap and rapidly chargeable batteries will probably happen before the hydrogen infrastructure can be built out.

The criticisms about rapid charging don’t wash with me, charging sites will be able to have affordable buffering batteries that can slow charge from the grid at low rates ready to dump that energy quickly for cars as they arrive. Since a majority if charging will still be done at home this seems like a perfect solution to environmentally friendly and affordable personal transport.

Hehe. Like “gullwing concept” means anything.

This ugly Mirai hydrogen thing keeps showing up like a ‘bad penny.’ Hard to figure out why a company like Toyota with good technical smarts would push a loser.

Gotta wonder if the Japanese Government, Toyota and others have a deal going with Big Oil (they did move to Texas if you remember) or if Toyota is completely ‘vision blind.’

Bilking California is hardly blind. That would be ARB, letting this scheme continue via ZEV credits. Toyota is laughing all the way to the bank, with Mirai costs offset by all their polluting vehicles now getting off the hook.

At least the Chinese are onto the scam, and won’t give a single yuan. Another area where China is beating us.

Lad said: “Gotta wonder if the Japanese Government, Toyota and others have a deal going with Big Oil (they did move to Texas if you remember) or if Toyota is completely ‘vision blind.’” We don’t need to wonder about the Japanese government’s self-defeating support for the “hydrogen highway”. It’s a matter of public record that the initiative for that is supported by several natural gas suppliers. Not “Big Oil”, but rather “Big Oil & Gas”. Toyota’s motives for pushing what is clearly a dead-end technology are less clear. I think there are a variety of factors pushing them in that direction; certainly a desire to appear to be “playing ball” with what the Japanese government is pushing is one of those factors, altho I don’t know if it’s the strongest one. It would be a conspiracy theory to suggest Big Oil is funding Toyota under the table, to promote “fool cell” cars. But that would be one conspiracy theory I could believe in, altho I see no real evidence for it. At least that would make more sense than to think Toyota’s executives are suffering from mass delusion, and have managed to convince themselves that FCEVs will catch on if… Read more »

“gull” wing concept – appropriate. A buyer has to be pretty “gullible” to buy a Mirai and buy into the whole hydrogen concept.


+1 for originality!

I didn’t think the Mirai could look any more ridiculous, but Toyota proved me wrong. Well done, Toyota!

It has to be the slowest production car in history to don gullwing doors.

At least it can literally fly, by filling up a giant balloon with the Hydrogen in its tank! The battery powered cars can only dream about that.

And this mental fantasy of flying this car in a balloon, is somehow an ADVANTAGE over other cars???

WTF kind of drugs are you taking???


Dream on, troll. A basic lift equation would tell you that the hydrogen in a Mirai tank would not lift the vehicle. Not by orders of magnitude.

What is it with hydrogen dupes failing basic physics and arithmetic? Oh, right- you’re hydrogen dupes.

The toyota-troll Slime Through once again shows us why he hates Tesla so much.

This because Tesla’s efforts towards long-range EVs are nails in the coffin of Coyota/Big Oil’s dream of hydrogen fool-cell cars fueled by the oil companies’ hydrogen made from fossil fuels.

Get Real, the Tesla troll is crying over his sour grapes, aka TSLA shares. I feel very sorry for you man! I forgive you whatever name you call me by. Keep rotting under your pile of TSLA shares.

You only see the future you want, not the one that is yet to be.

Such a sad little troll…

“See Through” trolled:

“Get Real, the Tesla troll is crying over his sour grapes, aka TSLA shares.”

Poor, poor troll. “See Through” is like the Grinch, who could not understand why the Whos in Whoville were still celebrating Christmas, even after he’d stolen their presents and decorations.

We Tesla enthusiasts aren’t happy about what Tesla is doing because of the rapid growth of TSLA stock, you troll. We’re happy because Tesla is helping to build a better world, helping us to wean ourselves us off the addiction to burning fossil fuels. That’s why we’re not crying about the recent drop in TSLA stock price.

Sadly, troll, your heart will never grow in size, the way the Grinch’s did.

What a loser. I feel sorry for you.

My TSLA shares are fine. However I do have some concerns. The reliability and quality issues should have been sorted by now, and I still don’t know what the current situation is (I don’t own a Tesla).

Also I’m still not sure whether the release of Auto Pilot is going to be a good move or not.

Sorry Slime Through, I neither own Tesla stock or their car yet nor do I work for them.

Unlike you however I do believe in real progress (but not flying hydrogen-Hindenburgs) and the future which is why unlike you I drive an EV (Volt).

Anyways, keep drinking the koolaid or smoking the crack or whatever you do away from the Coyota stealership.

Any car that comes out with gullwing type doors obviously was influenced by Model X

Elon brought it back into vogue.

Now, nearly every automaker is doing it again, but on the cheap.

Unfortunately, those Gull Wing doors will hit any vehicles / buildings / objects next to those vehicles. Oh well. 😀

…and how in the world would one get INTO those backseats, much less get back out. Better put ‘Gullwings’ on the passengers as well!

Model X does not have gull wing doors but it has Falcon wing doors. Falcon wing doors have active hinge and advanced sensors. No other car company has ever produced comparable doors, therefore different name is appropriate.

Cost to drive Nissan Leaf 100 miles is about $2 with electricity rates where i live (NJ). Cost to drive a Prius 100 miles with current gas prices is also $2. Cost to drive a Mirai 100 miles is $25! It should be very obvious why the oil companies would rather us drive hydrogen cars than electric cars that we fill up at home. First they sold us gasoline, then diesel and cng, now they want us to buy hydrogen. No thanks, i already have electricity at my house, no need to install any new infrastructure. Do the math yourself if you don’t believe me. Figures i used are $2 a gallon for regular, 18 cents a kwh, and $14 a kg for hydrogen. And from what ive read, Toyota does provide free hydrogen but only for the first year and its limited to $5,000 a year which is only 20k miles a year. I drive my EV alot further than that each year and it costs me $600 in electricity if all my charging is at home ( i do some public charging for free )

Not to disagree with your main points, but one nit-pick: Toyota’s rather desperate carrot/bribe for Mirai car buyers is “three years or $15,000 worth of free hydrogen”, not just one year’s worth.

You are totally correct. I meant to say, $5k a year for the first 3 years. I wonder if anyone will actually outright buy the Mirai versus a lease. It seems the free fuel only comes with the lease? It seems if you want a Mirai, the best way would be to lease and then see what the hydrogen prices look like in 3 years.

Im sorry, i was off with my math, cost to drive the Prius or Leaf is $4 for 100 miles. Its still 1/6 the cost of driving the hydrogen Mirai.

Putting gull wings on a pig does not make it fly. Nor does putting lipstick on a pig make it beautiful. Sorry maybe too harsh.