The Toyota Mirai is a car that may very well come to define the future – the word “Mirai” means future in Japanese – and that future will be unleashed on the United States in just a few short months. The Mirai is Toyota’s game-changing hydrogen fuel cell-powered car, and it will be released in the United States this fall – albeit only in California for the time being, because California is the only state with proper hydrogen fuel cell infrastructure for now.
However, in advance of the Mirai’s much-anticipated release, Toyota has finally released specs on the performance of the vehicle, and we have to say, it seems mighty impressive. While many car enthusiasts have bashed the look of the Mirai – it is certainly an unusual looking vehicle – the specs of the car are anything but ugly. The Mirai will instantly become one of the most fuel-efficient cars ever produced, making it every bit as big of a landmark vehicle as the Toyota Prius was when it first debuted.
While everyone is scrambling to build their finest electric cars, Toyota has been working on this hydrogen fuel cell technology for years. They’re not the only name in the game, as Hyundai has produced a fuel cell-powered version of the Tucson, however, the performance of the Mirai puts pretty much every other efficient car to shame.
Just how impressive is the Toyota Mirai? Well, the Mirai has a range of 317 miles, which easily outclasses the best electric cars around today. Furthermore, the car’s fuel economy is simply absurd, as the Mirai gets 67 miles per gallon equivalent city/highway/combined. Making this an even better buy is the fact that for the first three years of ownership, Toyota will pay for all your hydrogen. To incentivize the car further, they’ve also agreed to throw in three complimentary years of Toyota’s Entune, Safety Connect, and roadside-assistance services. While the Mirai is expected to cost somewhere in the $45-50k range, deals like that make the real cost much lower.
Of course, Toyota faces a few problems in releasing the Mirai, which is likely why they have incentivized buyers to such a degree. For starters, as mentioned, the car is seen by many as being clunky and ugly, which had inspired as much conversation as the car’s technology in its early unveiling. However, the much larger problem is the lack of hydrogen infrastructure in the United States right now. Even in California, hydrogen fuel stations are still in the single digits, and that is the best figure in the country.
Toyota is taking a gamble, betting that the car will impress enough to convince more states to invest in hydrogen fuel cell technology, but at the present time, it seems that the Mirai will be favored by a very niche, regional market. In any case, the release of the Toyota Mirai is a big deal for the world of cars, and many are hoping that the future will involve a whole lot of hydrogen.