Toyota to start 3-year test for Mirai FCV in China by October 2017

Article by Christian A., on April 28, 2017

Toyota Motor Corporation disclosed that it will be bringing two of its Mirai fuel cell vehicles to China by October of this year. Tests will then be conducted on these FCVs in order to determine how they perform under China’s environment. The brand will also study the quality of hydrogen in China and conduct other durability and quality tests.

While this may be the first in China, the Mirai has been tested in different countries like Australia, U.K., the U.S., and even Scandinavia. The testing to be done is China is under the project titled “Accelerating the Development and Commercialization of Fuel Cell Vehicles in China” and will begin on 2017 and end by 2020.

In addition to the tests being conducted, the brand will also conduct promotional activities in order to determine how customers in this country react to the Mirai. An example of such an activity includes, but not limited to, putting the Mirai up for exhibit during domestic events. Toyota says that the main objective of these events is to make consumers know more about FCVs.

At the same time as the tests, Toyota revealed that it will be setting up a hydrogen station at Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (China) Co., Ltd. (TMEC). Located in the Jiangsu Province in China, this is the site of Toyota’s research and development.

Currently there are five hydrogen stations in the country but are mainly positioned in metropolitan areas like Guangzhou, Shanghai, and of course, Beijing. For the one that Toyota is planning to build, it will be the first such facility to be put up in Changshu. To ensure the success of this project, Toyota says it will need to partner with the Chinese government as well as other local business and private organizations with the auto industry. These collaborations will help Toyota determine the advantages of having a hydrogen-based society.

Toyota has been known for years now to take the lead when it comes to developing environment-friendly vehicles like electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, hybrid cars, and FCVs. It does so in a way that the brand is able to fully utilize the benefits offered by the different systems.

Choosing the Mirai for tests is rather a no-brainer as Toyota believes this is the ultimate eco-car. Performance is truly exceptional especially with no CO2 emissions. Even then it has the convenience that is generally experienced in gas-powered version especially when it comes to cruising range and refilling time.

Officially unveiled during the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, Toyota estimates that between December 2014 and February 2017, 3,000 units have been sold across different countries like those in Europe, the U.S., and Japan. Its largest market is currently Japan with 1,500 units sold followed by the U.S. at 1,200 units.

Press Release

Toyota to Begin Demonstration Tests of the 'Mirai' Fuel Cell Vehicle in China

Toyota Motor Corporation will send two "Mirai" fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) to China in October 2017 to conduct demonstration tests in the country. Coinciding with the start of these tests, Toyota will also establish a hydrogen station at TMEC, its Chinese research and development base.

Toyota is participating in the Accelerating the Development and Commercialization of Fuel Cell Vehicles in China2 project, and will carry out demonstration tests on the Mirai FCV for three years between 2017 and 2020. Specifically, Toyota will conduct research into vehicle performance within the environment in China, research into the quality of China's hydrogen, as well as a variety of quality and durability evaluations. Toyota will engage in promotional activities and attempt to gauge how receptive Chinese consumers are to the vehicle, such as by exhibiting the Mirai at domestic events in China, and to also undertake activities which are aimed at improving public understanding of FCVs.

There are presently five hydrogen stations in China which are centered in the metropolitan regions of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The hydrogen station which Toyota plans to construct at TMEC will be the first of its kind in Changshu. Through this project, Toyota will work together with the Chinese government and other business organizations within the industry to explore the potential for the creation of a hydrogen-based society.

For Toyota, the Mirai is the ultimate eco-car: its zero CO2 emissions result in outstanding environmental performance; it boasts the same convenience as a gasoline powered vehicle in terms of refilling time and cruising range; and it provides the joy of driving in abundance. Between December 2014 and February 2017, an approximate total of 3,000 units of the Mirai sedan has been sold across Japan, the United States and Europe―regions and countries where hydrogen infrastructure is expanding. Toyota is also proceeding with demonstration tests in countries such as Australia, the U.A.E., and Canada.

For years, Toyota has advanced the development of various types of eco-cars such as hybrid vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles and FCVs in a manner that leverages the strengths of the different systems. At the same time, Toyota has also been actively engaged in efforts to encourage the widespread ownership of these environmentally-friendly vehicles.

In October 2015, Toyota commenced sales in China of the Corolla Hybrid and Levin Hybrid models, both of which features Chinese locally produced hybrid units. As of the end of March, Toyota has sold a total of 90,000 units of both the hybrid models, and this corresponds to 15% in sales of both the Corolla and Levin models together. Plug-in hybrid variants of the Corolla and Levin are scheduled for release in 2018. In addition, Toyota is currently in the process of formulating plans for the introduction of electric vehicles in the Chinese market in the future.

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