Toyota today announced plans to increase production of its state-of-the-art Mirai fuel cell vehicle.
The hydrogen-powered saloon was first launched in Japan last December and will be hitting the UK and other selected European markets later this year.
These new plans mean production is set to increase from 700 units this year to approximately 2,000 in 2016 and around 3,000 in 2017.
Toyota took the decision that the supply structure needed to be adjusted in order to fully reflect the level of customer demand for the vehicle after 1,500 orders were received in the first month of sales in Japan.
After the production increases, sales plans for Japan, the US and Europe will be devised – taking into mind the level of hydrogen infrastructure development, energy policies, car purchasing subsidies, consumer demand, environmental regulations and other factors in each region.
Toyota’s Fuel Cell Sedan is a development on the FCV Concept which was first unveiled back in 2013 at the Tokyo Motor Show.
Whilst Toyota has kept similar styling to the concept model, several detail changes have been made, including adjustments to the radiator grille, headlights, rear light and aerial, plus the roof and fuel filler cap.
In order to save room and lower the vehicle’s centre of gravity, the fuel cell, battery and fuel tanks have been fitted under the floor.
Meanwhile, compartment located in the front of the car contains the electric motor, electronic control system and boost converter.
Those lucky enough to get their hands on Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell technology will be the first to experience a new chapter in zero-emissions driving.
Mirai’s motor is powered by electricity generated through a chemical reaction between air-borne oxygen and hydrogen in an on-board fuel cell.
The car combines excellent environmental performance – the only tailpipe emission is water – with a fun-to-drive character. Its market launch has the potential to further accelerate energy diversification and help build a future society in which hydrogen is a core energy source.