2016 Toyota Mirai Confirmed To Go on Sale at Just Eight California Dealerships This October

With production numbers limited to just 700 for 2015, 2,000 for 2016 and 3,000 per year from 2017 until 2020, the Toyota Mirai fuel cell sedan will be something of an exclusive beast. During its entire manufacturing lifespan, less than 12,000 Mirai fuel cell sedans are expected to be made due to the limitations of its hand-built, costly manufacturing process.

It’s no surprise then that the Mirai will only go on sale at a handful of specialists dealers around the world, with Toyota’s first production fuel cell sedan only even available to buy in markets where there’s existing hydrogen fuel cell infrastructure.

Toyota has announced the first eight dealerships in the U.S. to sell the 2016 Miria Fuel Cell Sedan.

Toyota has announced the first eight dealerships in the U.S. to sell the 2016 Miria Fuel Cell Sedan.

In the U.S., that means the only place you’ll be able to buy one will be one of eight specialist Toyota Mirai dealerships. As you might expect, every one is in the state of California.

As per Toyota’s official press release this morning, they are as follows: San Francisco Toyota, Roseville Toyota, Stevens Creek Toyota and Toyota of Sunnyvale in northern California; and Longo Toyota, Toyota Santa Monica, Toyota of Orange and Tustin Toyota in southern California.

Of those first eight dealers, Toyota said it chose them because of their proximity to existing hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, meaning it will be easy for customers local to each dealership to find suitable places to refuel their cars. Toyota also said each of the eight dealerships had experience in the past of selling advanced-technology vehicles. In lay terms, we suspect that means its limited-production ‘compliance’ RAV4 EV electric cars, as well as suitably high numbers of Prius hybrids and Prius Plug-in Hybrids.

Cars won’t be rolling off dealer lots for another five months, but Toyota says it has nominated its dealers early so that potential customers can make themselves known to the dealership and put their names down on the pre-order waiting lists.

Toyota will carefully select prospective customers out of a pool of enthusiastic hand-raisers.

Toyota will carefully select prospective customers out of a pool of enthusiastic hydrogen hand-raisers.

That won’t be possible until ‘this summer,’ although Toyota says it is already urging potential interested parties to make themselves known early due to limited production numbers.

With just 3,000 Mirais earmarked for U.S customers through 2017, Toyota says orders will be limited, with vehicles ‘placed with select, eligible customers.’ For those not used to this particular phrase, we’d like to point out that this is automaker speak for “only a few customers will actually be selected to get a car.”

Those selections we hope will be made based on proximity to refuelling infrastructure, personal circumstances — like daily commute lengths and suitability for a hydrogen fuel cell car — and willingness to be on the bleeding edge of hydrogen fuel cell technology.

Like early electric cars, expect movie stars and business moguls to get first place in the queue.

Like early electric cars, expect movie stars and business moguls to get first place in the queue.

As with previous ‘early adopter’ programs and rollouts, most noticeably ones with lease-only electric cars of the late 1990s and early 2000s, we suspect those with noticeable influence — like television celebrities and influential entrepreneurs — will likely be top of Toyota’s list.

Toyota says customers can sign up for more information about the Mirai, as well as put their names forward to be notified when the order books open, at www.toyota.com/mirai

With a starting price of $57,500 and free hydrogen fuel for those chosen to be eligible to own one, the 2016 Toyota Mirai will join a select, exclusive band of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on California’s roads, including the lease-only Hyundai Tucson fuel cell crossover SUV and eventually, Honda’s as-yet unnamed first production fuel cell vehicle.

With each vehicle only produced in limited numbers however, it will be a long time before hydrogen fuel cell cars become as common as plug-in hybrid and all-electric cars on California’s roads.

 

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  • With this car’s price, scarcity, lack of fueling stations, and loss of federal tax credit, this model is DOA.

  • Joe Viocoe

    “based on proximity to refuelling infrastructure, personal circumstances u2014 like daily commute lengths and suitability for a hydrogen fuel cell car”nnOnly “select, eligible customers” will be allocated Mirais, largely based on how close they live and work to hydrogen fueling stations.”nnJust like the Lease-only program before… carefully selected individuals will not be a good indication of greater demand.nnMy issue with this is that Toyota will begin hyping the, “see, Fuel Cells work for everyday Americans”… meanwhile they have chosen particular attributes that probably don’t reflect everyday Americans at all.nnIt would be like an EV automaker making potential buyers fill out a questionnaire regarding typical driving patterns, the exact mileage between home and work… and then turning away anyone with a commute over 20 miles round trip.nThe critics would be justified to call B.S. on that move.nnIf Toyota was so certain about the appeal and demand of FCVs… they would let consumers make the decision on whether it suits their needs.

    • aatheus

      “It would be like an EV automaker making potential buyers fill out a nquestionnaire regarding typical driving patterns, the exact mileage nbetween home and work… and then turning away anyone with a commute nover 20 miles round trip.”nnGM actually did this with the EV-1, sort of. Danny DeVito got interviewed and had to justify why he “should be allowed” to lease one.

      • Joe Viocoe

        Yep, and as soon as the mandate got neutered, they crushed as many as they could.nnIt’ll be worse for any poor FCV buyer who gets suckered. When this “Hydrogen Economy” collapses, A handful of H2 stations, rising H2 prices well above the equivalent cost of gasoline, and the worthless resale value.

  • jlgh

    This looks like an attempt to kick battery electric vehicles into the long grass by offering a wholly spurious “alternative” without range problems (so long as you can find hydrogen refuelling stations). As hydrogen in commercial quantities comes from fossil fuels no doubt there is oil company encouragement. If Toyota persist with this nonsense they will be destroyed and will deserve to be.

    And yes I know you can use electricity to hydrolyse water to produce hydrogen but that would not happen short term.Longer term it would still be the height of stupidity as a battery electric vehicle can drink the electricity directly with far less loss