As well as being bigger, faster, longer-legged and more efficient than its predecessor, the new Mirai also costs quite a lot less.
When we road tested the Mk1 Mirai in 2016, it came in one trim level and at a cost of £66,000. Five years later, the new model can be had for a fiver under £50,000, which is a broadly competitive price for any luxury saloon of its size in 2021 and just under £20,000 less than the Hyundai Nexo FCEV. At that price, Toyota must still be subsidising the business case of this car significantly; but, clearly taking a long-term view, it must see both strategic and financial value in doing so.
For buyers, the car can be considered a very viable, zero-emissions fleet alternative to a big EV, qualifying as it does for the UK’s 1% benefit-in-kind tax bracket – but also capable of being refuelled in just a few minutes rather than close to an hour, or longer. Just like the last Mirai, its fuel cell powertrain emits only water, and it also contains filters and purifiers that actually clean the air around it of pollutants, oxides of nitrogen and harmful particulates.
The hitch for UK buyers remains our very limited hydrogen refuelling network. It extended to just three sites five years ago, and currently stands at 10 (with only two further north than either Beaconsfield or Swindon). If it will support your needs, you will find that a kilo of hydrogen gas costs between £12 and £15. Mirai drivers therefore won’t, at least for now, enjoy the same potential running cost savings that a private owner might see from a home-charged EV.