The Road Ahead: Toyota Tops Tesla, Boasting 312-Mile Range For Mirai – Forbes

Posted: Monday, July 06, 2015
Toyota Mirai fuel-cell vehicle.

Toyota Mirai fuel-cell vehicle.

Toyota’s statement last week that its Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle will get 312 miles between fill-ups is a shot across Tesla Motors Tesla Motors bow.

Toyota’s Jim Lentz announced on Tuesday at a conference in Colorado that the automaker’s upcoming fuel cell electric vehicle will offer an EPA-estimated 67 miles per gallon equivalent (mpge) city/highway/combined and an EPA-estimated driving range rating of 312 miles on a single fill of hydrogen.  The Mirai is due to arrive at dealerships this fall.

That 312-mile range beats the longest-range battery-electric car, the Tesla Model S 85D, which can go 270 miles on a single charge.  ”The Mirai is the first zero emission vehicle on the market to top the 300 mile range,” a Toyota spokesperson said in an email.  

Tesla is seen — particularly in the U.S. — as leading the way to a brave, new electrified vehicle world.  With the future $35,000 Model 3 (III), Tesla is expected to extend that lead to the mass market.  So, it’s no surprise that the world’s largest automaker needs to trump Tesla on range. And Toyota needs do that with a fuel cell vehicle because that’s the technology it’s staking its future on as a long-range green vehicle solution (Toyota does not believe battery-powered all-electrics are the answer).  For those in need of a quick primer on Toyota’s first commercial fuel-cell vehicle, here’s how it describes the Mirai:  ”The world’s first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle, the Toyota Mirai is a four-door, mid-size sedan…[that] creates electricity on demand using hydrogen, oxygen and a fuel cell, and emits nothing but water vapor in the process.”

The Mirai will be priced at $57,500.  Toyota will also offer a lease for $499 per month (with a $3,649 down payment). Toyota is throwing in 3 years’ worth of complimentary fuel, which it qualifies as “fuel for 3 years or $15,000 maximum, whichever comes first” and an 8-year/100,000-mile warranty on components including the fuel cell stack and power control unit, hydrogen tanks, hybrid battery pack and ECU (electronic control unit), among other components.

General Motors General Motors is also taking some preemptive strikes at Tesla, particularly at its Model 3.  GM appears to be determined to beat Tesla to market with a mass-market all-electric EV with a 200 mile range — the Chevy Bolt.  The largest U.S. automaker is already testing more than 50 Bolts and accelerating work on the EV.   CEO Mary Barra dropped not-so-subtle hints that the Bolt is “is not for elites” among other comments obviously aimed at Tesla.



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