2016 Toyota Mirai Name For Fuel-Cell Sedan; Hydrogen Station Funds Coming … – Green Car Reports

Posted: Monday, November 17, 2014


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The hydrogen fuel-cell sedan that goes on sale in North America roughly a year from now will be known as the 2016 Toyota Mirai, the company announced today.

The model name–confirming a rumor that had circulated for several months–was announced by Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda in a video released this evening.

The 2016 Mirai will be formally unveiled to the U.S. public at this week’s Los Angeles Auto Show.

DON’T MISS: Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan Photographed Testing In Southern California (Sep 2014)

Since the design of the production model was released in June, Toyota’s hydrogen vehicle had been known only as the “Fuel Cell Sedan.”

The mid-size four-door sedan will have a range of about 300 miles, the company says, and will be capable of being refueled in less than five minutes at a high-pressure hydrogen fueling station.

Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan at Aspen Ideas Festival [photo: Riccardo Savi]

Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan at Aspen Ideas Festival [photo: Riccardo Savi]

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Along with Toyoda’s announcement of the Mirai model name, Toyota’s North American CEO Jim Lentz announced a company commitment to assisting with the installation of fueling stations in five Northeastern states.

As it has done in Southern California, where it is helping to fund the creation of the earliest hydrogen stations, Toyota will collaborate with a national operator to develop a network of refueling sites.

MORE: Will The Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan Target The Tesla Model S?

The partner for the Northeast will be Air Liquide, whereas the California operator was First Element Fuel, a startup formed specifically to provide hydrogen for the upcoming crop of fuel-cell vehicles.

In May, Toyota loaned First Element $7.3 million toward the costs of building 19 hydrogen fueling stations in southern California.

The planned fueling network in the Northeast comprises 12 “strategically selected” locations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island.

2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell at hydrogen fueling station, Fountain Valley, CA

2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell at hydrogen fueling station, Fountain Valley, CA

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Lentz said the sites will provide “the backbone of a hydrogen highway for the Northeast corridor” in the greater New York City and Boston regions.

More details of the collaboration between Toyota and Air Liquide will emerge over the coming months.

MORE: Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan: Final Design, Price Revealed For Japan (Jun 2014)

“We believe that behind the wheel of the Mirai, we can go places we have never been,” Toyoda said in his announcement, “to a world that is better, in a car that is better.”

Toyota has been the most vocal proponent of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles as the appropriate zero-emission solution for future transport.

Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan at Aspen Ideas Festival [photo: Riccardo Savi]

Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan at Aspen Ideas Festival [photo: Riccardo Savi]

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The cars emit only water vapor as oxygen from the air is combined with hydrogen fuel to produce electricity in the fuel cell.

Honda is also planning to launch a production fuel-cell car in 2016, based on the FCEV concept car it showed at last year’s Los Angeles Auto Show.

RELATED: Toyota, Honda, Hyundai Fuel-Cell Cars: How Many Will Be Sold?

But the companies have actually been beaten to the punch by a Korean competitor:

Roughly 60 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell small SUVs will be on the roads of southern California by the end of this year, its maker says.

The 2016 Toyota Mirai will go on sale in Japan next spring, and in the U.S. next fall.

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