Toyota Unveils New Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car
Japan's Toyota put its revamped Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car with an added 30% range on sale Wednesday in an attempt to promote zero-emission technology.
A brave attempt, given the automaker has so far failed to win customers over with its fuel cell vehicles (FCV), despite Japanese government backing. Main concerns have remained with lack of fuelling stations, resale values and risk of hydrogen explosions. By the end of September Toyota had sold only 11,100 of its first generation Mirai, almost six years after launch. Electric vehicles (EV) are still widely preferred, but Toyota hopes that with a larger goal in mind things are about to take a turn.
The new Mirai launch comes after Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced the target to cut Japan's carbon emissions to zero by 2050. Fresh support measures for FCVs have also been announced in September, which include requiring projects with government subsidies to boost the number of hydrogen-charging stations and efforts to cut the price of the fuel.
Toyota had planned to use the postponed 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo as a platform to showcase its fuel cell technology, while also looking to China - the world's biggest auto-market, which has about 7,000 FCVs VS over 4 million EVs to give demand a boost.
"The new Mirai will serve as a new departure point for creating a hydrogen-based society of the future”, Toyota commented.
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