Toyota Mirai Hydrogen Fuel Cell Sedan Makes Landfall in Europe At Higher Price Than Tesla Model S 70

Continuing the slow global rollout of its first production hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, Japanese automaker Toyota has just confirmed that a handful of 2016 Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell cars have made landfall at various ports across Europe.

To celebrate the introduction of the Mirai into Europe, Toyota brought its first-generation Prius to the port.

To celebrate the introduction of the Mirai into Europe, Toyota brought its first-generation Prius to the port to emphasise the similarities between both cars.

Not due to go on sale until later this year, the first five Mirai fuel cell cars to land in Europe at Bristol UK and Zeebrugge Belgium, will be used as technology demonstrator vehicles and spend a fair amount of their time on various evaluation fleets with high-value fleet customers.

Due to officially launch in September in the UK, Germany and Denmark, Toyota still hasn’t yet been given an official NEDC fuel economy rating for European markets. But in its press release announcing the landfall of the five first Mirai fuel cell sedans to enter Europe, Toyota did disclose pricing for German buyers: €66,000 + VAT.

Unlike Japan, where an unbelievable ¥3 million ($24,120) discount is applied to the sticker price of each and every Toyota Mirai in the form of Government-backed subsidies for hydrogen fuel cell cars, Germany does not yet have any plans to offer incentives to reduce the sticker price of the Mirai.

Only five Toyota Mirai sedans have made landfall in Europe thus far.

Only five Toyota Mirai sedans have made landfall in Europe thus far.

Add on the standard 19 percent purchase tax levied on all cars in Germany, and the gross price of the Mirai in Germany reaches an eye-watering €78,540 ($87,532) making it some €4340 ($4836) more expensive than the entry-level Tesla Model S 70.

The Mirai’s German sticker price — when converted to U.S. dollars at the current exchange rate — is more than a 50 percent price increase on the U.S. sticker price for the same vehicle.

Because each Mirai is mostly hand-built at the former Lexus LFA works in Toyota City Japan, global production figures for the Mirai are tiny. Globally, just 700 Mirais will be built this year, with 2,000 due to be produced during 2016. Even by the end of 2017, annual production figures will only total 3,000 cars per year.

Those limited-production figures, along with massive interest from governments and big businesses keen to demonstrate their environmental policies through the purchase of Toyota’s halo hydrogen car, means that Toyota has already sold out of cars for the UK for the rest of this year, with anyone wanting to own a Mirai facing something of an uphill struggle to even get a test drive.

The matter of limited availability is something that Toyota is painfully aware of, but in a clever piece of PR, Toyota is eager to set the Mirai up as following in the tire tracks of the very first Toyota Prius sedans which entered into the UK back in 2000.

Indeed, it even brought a 2000 Toyota Prius from its own UK heritage fleet to the port of Bristol to meet the three Mirai fuel cell sedans making landfall in the country.

The Toyota Mirai will retail in Germany at €66,000 plus 19 percent sales tax.

The Toyota Mirai will retail in Germany at €66,000 plus 19 percent sales tax.

“This marks the debut of a new age for clean mobility — a turning point in the history of automobiles,” said Karl Schlicht, Executive Vice-President of Toyota Motor Europe.  “With Mirai, Toyota is working on bringing clean, safe and enjoyable mobility for the next 100 years, thanks to fuel cell technology. We are looking forward to the start of delivery of the first Mirai to customers from September and to see the future taking shape on European roads. As with Prius 15 years ago, we are proud to bring yet another groundbreaking innovation to Europe with Mirai”.

While those early Toyota Prius hybrids had to challenge stereotypes about electrified transportation and convince buyers that its tiny 1.4-litre CVT transmission and electric motor could deliver fuel economy never-before seen, the Mirai will have to convince buyers of even more.

As well as convincing them that the high-end sticker price is worth it compared to far more affordable zero emission electric cars, Toyota will need to convince buyers that switching to hydrogen fuel — a fuel source which is still extremely tough to get hold of across most of Europe — is best for the long-term.

Given the reliability challenges facing hydrogen fuel stations across the world — and the ever-expanding network of free Supercharger stations being offered by Tesla Motors for those who buy the Tesla Model S luxury sedan — we’re not sure Toyota’s task this time is as easy as it might seem.


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  • Michael Thwaite

    Hand’s up those picking the Toyota then?

    • Chris O

      🙂 Good one!

  • Chris O

    So the eagle has landed…. Clever propaganda is used to convince people of its imminent thousand year reign like parading Toyota’s icon of green motoring, the Prius. Hybrids never became more than a few percent of the market though and the first Prius never cost $87K .

    Unlike the Prius HFCVs are introduced well before prime time, no doubt in an effort to stave off the plug-in revolution.


    We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on
    the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in
    the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall
    never surrender.

    • SaturnV

      “So the eagle has landed” Only 6 LM landed on the moon. So thats accurate… xD

  • daveman1

    Quite possibly the ugliest car ever built

    • Stephen Noctor

      Gives the Pontiac Aztec a good run for the money!

  • jeffsongster

    Just imagine where we would be if the big Yota had endorsed the plug in world more wholeheartedly. Makes me sad to see these ‘demo’ cars and compliance games. IMO they should have kept the RAV4 EV going and actually supported it… and a sequel to it with quick charging and bug fixes.

    • socrateos

      Toyota is thinking small when it comes to EVs: FVCs for longer distance and EVs for shorter distance, as they always say. Thus they produce EVs like i-Road and COMS. RAV4 EV experiment reconfirmed their conviction.

      • Michael Thwaite

        I wonder if they’re trying to out Nissan, Nissan. Carlos G. saw Nissan flailing and said, OK, we have to do something, anything different to what we’re doing today – Insanity: Repeating the same behavior and expecting a different outcome – so, he pivoted and bet the future of the company on EVs. I wonder if Toyota is doing something similar however, the EV thing is taken by Nissan, Tesla and BMW – what could Toyota do in that space to impress everyone? Hence this (i think suicidal) rush at FCVs.

        • socrateos

          Toyota has been saying (and you are not listening) that the future is both EVs (for shorter distance) and FCVs (for longer distance), while Hybrid filling the gap between now and then.

          It may not be very long before you start to see Toyota i-Road in many cities around the world.

          • Michael Thwaite

            I hear them but that doesn’t make it true. An FCV has trouble matching the range of a battery EV at the same price – yes, you can go a bit further on one fill but not by a great deal and not for the same cost in fuel. I still struggle to find a good use-case for hydrogen as a good battery in passenger vehicles. Perhaps you could show where such an application makes financial sense, and let’s assume for a moment that there are places to find hydrogen and that they work.

          • D. Harrower

            And keep in mind that while the Mirai is rated for slightly more range than a Model S, you really only get to use half of that range because it’s extremely unlikely you will be able to fill up at your destination and you need enough to get back home again.

        • vdiv

          I don’t buy the argument that Ghosn bet or even seriously hedged the future of Renault-Nissan on EVs. They only make a single model + the eNV-200 conversion. Call it dipping the company’s foot to the ankle maybe (Toyota did the toe tip and got scared).

  • Chris

    Fully electric cars and charging infrastructure are going to be so advanced by the time hydrogen cars are even close to being competitive price wise and running costs wise. Not to mention getting hydrogen stations widespread. I can’t really see how they can ever be competitive on running costs unless they decide to give away hydrogen in response to the ever expanding free supercharger network.

    • Michael Thwaite

      Of course, that’s what Hyundai did – they gave hydrogen away as part of the lease! Even then I’ve heard stories of, so take this with a pinch of salt, of the Hyundai’s being laid up for weeks, unused as the fueling stations have been down. The key with EVs is that we have a massive fueling network already in place – a backup for the backup for the backup… where can you go where you can’t find a plug?

  • Marcel

    Well that’s not an accessible price point at all. Plus it’s less attractive inside and out, slower and doesn’t offer AWD. I bet the Tesla running costs are lower too using cheap solar electricity… I like fuel cells but if it’s more expensive to run, it’ll be like diesel vs gasoline for me, I’d choose the least cost option.

  • Ad van der Meer

    The Mirai will probably only be sold to government agencies and companies that have something to gain from hydrogen production and/or distribution.
    The Tesla Model S is comparable in price, but is much cheaper to run.

  • Royz

    So to buy one you need to be both blind (pig ugly car) and stupid (no where to get the Hydrogen)