Toyota Motor Corp. is so confident in a future for fuel-cell vehicles that it plans to start selling its Mirai fuel-cell sedan in late next year. Mirai, which means “future” in Japanese, expresses Toyota’s confidence that hydrogen would be accepted by consumers in the United States as a clean fuel alternative in the next five years.
Toyota is planning to sell nearly 200 Mirai sedans when commences sale in California in late 2015 and 3,000 units by the end of 2017, with the increase in number coming from expanded marketing in Northeast US. Toyota Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada said the Toyota targets around 700 sales of the Mirai globally in 2015 and “tens of thousands by 2020.”
Toyota plans to offer lease terms similar to Hyundai’s -- payments of $499 over 36 months, with an initial payment of $3,649 at signing. The carmaker also plans to offer the Mirai for purchase at $57,500.
Consumers could expect federal and California state incentives to trim around $13,000 from the sticker price, which means that buyers would be available at under $45,000, a price point that Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota Division, sits well with their focus groups.
Toyota expects fleet users to account for 10 percent of overall Mirai sales, while around 90 percent of retail sales going to leases.
Fuel will be provided for free to Mirai owners due to difficulties determining and pricing the amount of hydrogen used to fill their tanks. Toyota is just one few carmakers that has set their focus on fuel-cell vehicles.
Honda recently unveiled details of its own FCVs while Hyundai started leasing its Tucson FCEV at three dealerships in Southern California in June. General Motors and Mercedes-Benz have conducted demonstration fleets on the road for years.