Toyota will launch the next-iteration zero-emissions Mirai model in 2020.
Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) still remain unpopular, despite their eco-friendliness. Such cars are expensive and, besides, there is an ubiquitous lack of hydrogen fuel stations.
So, customers are not in a hurry to buy FCEVs, but it doesn’t scare Toyota. The carmaker continues to believe in the future success of these vehicles.
The other day Toyota confirmed, with no details, that they would refresh the Mirai. It will sit on an upgraded version of the current model’s architecture.
The Japanese automaker launched the Toyota Mirai 4 years ago, in 2016. The starting price of $57,500 is high enough for a compact sedan that does not belong to the premium class.
The Mirai’s fuel cell stack is put under the front seats. It generates electricity stored in a battery that powers an electric motor. The output is 153 hp, the driving range is 300 miles.
A couple of high-pressure hydrogen tanks are hidden under the rear seats.
Toyota sold only 1,700 Mirais in the USA in 2018. It’s too few, in comparison with sales of Tesla, for instance, or other Toyotas.
Toyota also uses fuel cells in semi-trailer trucks. In partnership with Kenworth (a truck manufacturer), it will make a fleet of 10 semi-trailer fuel cell powered trucks, which serve for deliveries of cargos across Los Angeles.