Toyota’s new FCV promises quick refuelling and a 300-mile range from its hydrogen fuel cell stack
22 January 2015

Toyota has revealed more information on its upcoming hydrogen-powered car, which will be called Toyota Mirai. The model was previously known as the FCV

The Toyota Mirai is already available to order in Japan, and will arrive in Europe and the US in summer 2015. The exterior styling was revealed at the LA motor show, and the European-spec interior will be shown at the Geneva motor show in March 2015.

Toyota says the showroom price for Western markets has yet to be decided, partly because it does not know what, if any, government subsidies will be available for the Mirai. It has suggested that it will cost around €66,000 plus local taxes in Europe. This will work out at an on-sale price of around £60,000 in the UK.

It is a standalone five-door, four-seat hatchback model that offers a boot capacity of around 360 litres. Final specification for Europe is not yet confirmed, but it is expected to come with climate control, a rear parking camera, satellite-navigation, LED headlights and man-made leather upholstery. The safety kit is likely to include a pre-crash system, an adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and lane-change assist.

Initial demand for the Mirai has meant Toyota has announced its plans to increase production over the coming years. The company will produce around 700 Mirais this year, followed by around 2000 in 2016 and approximately 3000 in 2017.

The increase has come as a result of initial sales success in Japan - around 1500 orders were placed in the first month of the car being available. The increase in production is also to cope with the planned launch in the USA and Europe later this year.

The Mirai is the culmination of two decades of research from Toyota. The production version of the saloon car, which seats four and offers a range of 300 miles from its twin high-pressue hydrogen tanks (700bar/70MPa) stored under the floor, was revealed at the recent Paris motor show.

The hydrogen tanks fuel a fuel cell, which powers a permanent magnet electric motor to drive the front wheels. The Mirai emits only water vapour at the tailpipe. Power for the system is understood to be around 135bhp, Toyota making comparisons to a typical petrol-engined family saloon, and a refuel of the hydrogen tanks takes around three minutes. 

The most recent concept version was at the Tokyo motor show in 2013, and the production version has stayed remarkably similar to it. 

Toyota believes it can popularise hydrogen as a fuel just as it has pioneered hybrid technology in the past 16 years. However, there is a small but very vocal opposition in the US to the adoption of hydrogen as a fuel because much of today’s hydrogen is made by ‘steam reforming’ methane gas. Tesla boss Elon Musk has already called fuel cells “a load of rubbish”.

The name Mirai means 'future' in Japanese. In a speech announcing the name of the car, Toyota boss Akio Toyoda said: “We are at a turning point in automotive history. A turning point where people will embrace a new, environmentally friendly car that is a pleasure to drive.

“A turning point where a four-door sedan can travel 300 miles on a single tank of hydrogen, can be refuelled in under five minutes and emit only water vapour. A turning point that represents many years and countless hours of work by our team to create a car that redefines the industry.

"All of us at Toyota believe in a future that will be safer, greener and easier for everyone. We imagined a world filled with vehicles that would diminish our dependence on oil and reduce harm to the environment. It was a bold, but inspiring goal and today it is a reality.

“Our fuel cell vehicle runs on hydrogen that can be made from virtually anything, even garbage. It has a fuel cell that creates enough electricity to power a house for about a week.

“This is a car that lets you have it all with no compromises. As a test driver, I knew this new fuel cell vehicle had to be truly fun to drive – and believe me, it is. It has a low centre of gravity, which gives it very dynamic handling.

“After surviving millions of miles on the test track and 10 years of testing on public roads in freezing cold and scorching heat, after passing extensive crash tests, and after working with local governments and researchers around the world to help make sure it is easy and convenient to refuel, we are ready to deliver."

Read more LA motor show news

Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below:

Our Verdict

Toyota Yaris
Toyota’s supermini chases the Fiesta and Polo buyer

The original Toyota Yaris was a landmark car, but it then lost ground to more talented rivals. Can it regain its crown?

Join the debate

Comments
28

4 July 2014
i do not think i have ever seen such an ugly car as this disgraceful mess, what on earth were the guys at Toyota thinking.!!

5 July 2014
Toyota cars are getting uglier by the model. I wonder where they find their designers. I wouldn't be seen in one of these monsters for a million. I'd feel ashamed!

5 July 2014
No doubt the usual sheep, would lord over this hideous contraption, and declare it innovative. As if we are still living in the 80s and 90s,! The days when Toyotas were the benchmark are long gone- even in America where they are 10 years behind us they are recalling model after model, without the scathing press reviews we reserve for other non-Japanese manufacturers. I predict this car with its hefty price tag will be a success in Britain- Because its a Toyota and if it is this overpriced it must be good! Roll on Tesla!

5 July 2014
Looking on the VOSA recalls website for the past five years I count 34 recalls for Toyota (which includes Lexus), 30 for Nissan (Infiniti isn't listed), 21 for Honda.... ...9 for Chevrolet, 6 for Alfa Romeo, 0 for Cadillac and Dacia isn't even listed. Going on those sorts of figures, I'd be inclined to believe the more recalls the better. A lack of recalls doesn't necessarily mean the car doesn't have problems, it could mean the manufacturer isn't looking for them, won't fix them, or thinks it's own reputation is more important than informing every affected owner whether they use a main dealer or not. Personally I rather like the look of this design, it's perhaps a little American but given the popularity of the Prius over there you can understand why. I'm more interested in the infrastructure side. Have they developed a home refuelling point? Unlike petrol you don't need rare starting materials to make hydrogen so that would certainly boost the practicality.

5 July 2014
Factczech wrote:
No doubt the usual sheep, would lord over this hideous contraption, and declare it innovative. As if we are still living in the 80s and 90s,! The days when Toyotas were the benchmark are long gone- even in America where they are 10 years behind us they are recalling model after model, without the scathing press reviews we reserve for other non-Japanese manufacturers. I predict this car with its hefty price tag will be a success in Britain- Because its a Toyota and if it is this overpriced it must be good! Roll on Tesla!
No-one in the UK buys a Toyota unless they have to or they are a taxi driver. Where do you get your 'facts' from?

5 July 2014
marj wrote:
Factczech wrote:
No doubt the usual sheep, would lord over this hideous contraption, and declare it innovative. As if we are still living in the 80s and 90s,! The days when Toyotas were the benchmark are long gone- even in America where they are 10 years behind us they are recalling model after model, without the scathing press reviews we reserve for other non-Japanese manufacturers. I predict this car with its hefty price tag will be a success in Britain- Because its a Toyota and if it is this overpriced it must be good! Roll on Tesla!
No-one in the UK buys a Toyota unless they have to or they are a taxi driver. Where do you get your 'facts' from?
The same way nobody buys a Vauxhall Corsa unless they're a driving instructor or fleet owner

6 July 2014
C2_Matt wrote:
marj wrote:
Factczech wrote:
No doubt the usual sheep, would lord over this hideous contraption, and declare it innovative. As if we are still living in the 80s and 90s,! The days when Toyotas were the benchmark are long gone- even in America where they are 10 years behind us they are recalling model after model, without the scathing press reviews we reserve for other non-Japanese manufacturers. I predict this car with its hefty price tag will be a success in Britain- Because its a Toyota and if it is this overpriced it must be good! Roll on Tesla!
No-one in the UK buys a Toyota unless they have to or they are a taxi driver. Where do you get your 'facts' from?
The same way nobody buys a Vauxhall Corsa unless they're a driving instructor or fleet owner
Not a single private Corsa owner? And your evidence is what exactly

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

5 July 2014
We got to the point were there isn't a single groundbreaking fact to report to the audience (the IQ gone dead, the X-not-go is less and less meaningful, the Yaris turned out THE crap car (no decent diesel nor petrol engine, so the remaining hybrid is the one to buy...), the Auris apeared as the flop in the segment and the Avensis is just not to be considered by no one anymore (less than 30K anual production). What then? The Prii (claimed to be invented in less than 3 years...) So now they are aiming for the fireworks: The TOYOTA fuel-cell car. ...at least with this one they quit fooling people, they claim working on it for the past 16 years: shame they forgot to update de design! From the dependability crown they went to the Recall-stacking crown! Way to go TOYOTA! What a busy PR machine. No EndlessWaves, you got it wrong too: Fuel-cell cars rely on rare materials too (platinum), so no point scored. Sorry guys, just finnish to ink the deal with HYUNDAI.

6 July 2014
True to form, another hideous looking car from Toyota. 'Toyota says it has been working on hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles for “more than 20 years...'- obviously for not long enough as Hyundai has been the first maufacturer in the world to mass produce fuel cell cars with their hydrogen-powered ix35. 'Toyota believes it can popularise hydrogen as a fuel...' - you sound as if only Toyota can pull this off. You really have to laugh at the muppets writing for car magazines these days.

6 July 2014
it isnt bad looking at all from headlights upwards but everything below it is just plain childish scribbles. It resembles styling that would suite a 600 horspower four door design yet chose to adopt into prius philosophy , just plain daft with looks as evidence. as for fuel cell, why is toyota starting to push this direction after being ahead in hybrid? they should not be too paranoid about short to mid range capability cars.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    30 June 2015
    Significant upgrades to the M6's Competition Package only serve to lift its appeal even more
  • First Drive
    29 June 2015
    Third-gen MPV exudes characteristic Volkswagen refinements, so it's solid, upmarket, smart and practical – albeit a bit bland
  • First Drive
    29 June 2015
    This Tucson is proof Hyundai hasn’t run out of momentum. If it's priced and specced keenly, it could be a rival to the class best.
  • First Drive
    26 June 2015
    A niche proposition as ever, but then Subaru revels in its uniqueness. This would be a significantly improved car with a conventional automatic or manual transmission
  • First Drive
    26 June 2015
    In the past we've rated the Toyota Auris as solid and dependable but hardly exciting. Has a mid-life refresh injected it with a sense of fun?