2016 Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Vehicle. Image courtesy of Toyota

Japan Gets Ready for Toyota Mirai and Fuel Cell Adoption

Two pieces of interesting news on the Toyota Mirai FCV, courtesy of our friends at Carscoops and Bloomberg.  First, Carscoops says that Toyota has taken orders for 1500 of their new fuel cell vehicle.  Bloomberg provides some detail, as well as information that the Japanese government is plowing the road for easier adaptation of the car.

Here’s what Carscoops has:

The number far exceeds Toyota’s plans: at the time of the vehicle’s launch, the automaker said it expected to sell approximately 400 units in Japan by the end of 2015. Due to the large volume of orders received, Toyota is now forecasting a significantly longer time to delivery than originally expected.

 

About 60 percent of the orders came from government offices and corporate fleets, and 40 percent from individual consumers. Orders are mostly from Tokyo, Kanagawa Prefecture, Aichi Prefecture and Fukuoka Prefecture. The Mirai is priced from 7,236,000 yen (approximately $62,040) in Japan, including consumption tax.

 

Quite interesting that the Japanese government represents a good portion of the initial purchase.  Well, perhaps not.  There’s something to be said for the government wanting to get behind technology that could significantly reduce their reliance on imported oil.  Additionally, fuel cell is a power source that is 180 degrees from nuclear.  It’s clean, renewable, and you can drink the output.

Bloomberg chimes in on changes in regulatory requirements that will make it easier to establish an island-wide fueling network:

“It’s time to introduce a hydrogen era,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, among the first to receive Toyota’s Mirai fuel-cell model, said after a test-drive today at his residence in Tokyo. “I want all ministries and agencies to have it.” He didn’t give a timeframe for the self-service stations or elaborate on plans to relax rules. 

 

The government is planning hydrogen distribution facilities as it supports Toyota, which pioneered hybrid vehicles, to help popularize what the carmaker sees as the next generation of auto technology. Abe has said Japan intends to create a “hydrogen society,” with cells powered by the element also powering homes and office buildings.

 

As I’ve said before, the play to watch is how the Mirai does on the island, not necessarily in the U-S of A.

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Sebastian James

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