Toyota launches Mirai fuel cell vehicle in December 2014

Annual unit sales ranging in tens of thousands are expected by 2020s



Toyota Mirai FCV
(Photos in this report are from Toyota's media releases.)

 On December 15, 2014, Toyota Motor Corporation launched its hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (FCV) "Mirai" after some 20 years of technical development. The FCV has a price tag of JPY 7,236,000 (tax inclusive) or JPY 5,216,000 after application of the national subsidy of up to JPY 2.02 million. The FCV will be further eligible for subsidies by local governments (JPY 1 million in Tokyo case).

 The Mirai is on display only at a limited number of Toyota dealerships and its market debut was rather a quiet one. Toyota has already received nearly a thousand pre-launch orders, so new orders are not likely to be delivered for a year or two. The FCV is built by an entirely new technology and Toyota is manufacturing it in an extra careful manner. The company plans to increase the annual production from 700 to 2,000 units by the end of 2015.

 Toyota plans to sell 400 units in Japan by the end of 2015, launch the Mirai in Europe and the U.S. in the summer of 2015, and sell 50 to 100 units in Europe in 2016. Toyota regards the U.S. as the key market as a stricter Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program is being introduced in California. The company hopes to sell about 3,000 units in the U.S. by the end of 2017.

 Iwatani Corporation has announced its hydrogen price to be JPY 1,100 per kg. Assuming the price of gasoline to be JPY 160 per liter, the fuel cost of the Mirai will be equal to that of Toyota Harrier Hybrid.

 Decisions have been made to construct hydrogen stations at 45 locations in Japan with the subsidies provided by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Another initiative is under way to construct stations annexed to Seven-Eleven Japan's convenience stores. Honda and Iwatani plan to construct their original compact hydrogen stations named "Smart Hydrogen Station."

 Toyota's Mirai FCV will be available initially in limited quantities. Honda's FCVs will not reach markets until January to March 2016. The FCVs and hydrogen stations are expected to spread rather slowly and their full market penetration is not likely until the 2020s. Toyota is expecting to sell several tens of thousands of units in the 2020s.

Related report: FC EXPO 2014 and FCV launch plans (Mar. 2014)