Toyota broke the mold with their Prius over a decade ago, making hybrid cars commonplace. They are hoping for a repeat story with their new hydrogen fuel-cell 2016 Toyota Mirai.
Going on sale in California starting in the fall of 2015, the new hydrogen powered fuel-cell sedan can achieve up to 300 miles on a tank of fuel, emitting only water vapor.
A fuel cell car has an electric motor drive unit. But instead of a battery, it has a fuel cell stack where hydrogen fuel is combined with oxygen to generate electricity right on board to power that motor.
Toyota designed its own fuel cell stack which fits neatly under the front driver and passenger seats. It produces enough juice to give the Mirai an impressive 153 horsepower allowing a 0-60 time of nine seconds.
What does it cost? When the 2016 Toyota Mirai arrives, it will have a lease program of $499 per month with $3649 due at the start. You can purchase one for $57,500. Toyota adds that state and federal incentives of up to $13,000 could lower that price to under $45,000.
Since this is all-new technology people may worry about, Toyota is pairing a total ownership service program with the Mirai to give confidence to owners. This starts with 24/7 concierge service for any kind of assistance from roadside service to just answering questions.
It comes with three years of Toyota Care maintenance and an eight-year 100,000-mile warranty on fuel cell components. The most important one? It comes with free hydrogen fuel for up to three years. Obviously, you need to be near a station but what a deal.
So where can you fuel one up? Right now, mostly Southern California. By the time the Mirai goes on sale, some 17 stations are expected to be open to the public, with 28 more to open by the end of 2016.
In 2016, hydrogen station operator Air Liquide in collaboration with Toyota, is planning a dozen stations in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Thus, the Marai will eventually go on sale in these states.
So be on the lookout for the 2016 Toyota Mirai. It won’t be hard to notice with its decidedly unique styling. Why did Toyota felt it necessary to make it stand out so loudly? Look back at the first Prius which itself popped out from the sea of the norm. It didn’t hurt its success at all.