The Toyota Mirai has made its East Coast debut at the DC Auto Show. This hydrogen fuel cell vehicle has a range of up to 300 miles, emitting only water vapor and takes about five minutes to refuel. Moving forward, Toyota has called for a greater effort from the government and industry to make these vehicles available to more customers.
The hydrogen infrastructure needed to kick-start this market will take a collaborative effort from automakers, government regulators, and energy providers alike. Recently, Toyota made the decision to release nearly 5,500 global patents, royalty-free, to competitors in order to start the transition to a hydrogen-based industry. In addition, the automaker has called for Congress to step up and reinstate tax incentives for the hydrogen companies that develop the refueling stations and drivers who buy these zero emission vehicles.
At the DC Auto Show, Nihar Patel, Toyota’s Vice President of North American Business Strategy, noted that consumers who purchase plug-in electric vehicles receive a $7,500 tax credit, while buyers of fuel cell electric vehicles do not. This is due to the expiration of the federal fuel cell credit, and Patel worries that this may cripple the potential of the hydrogen fuel cell market.
Toyota has announced that by the end of 2017, it will have increased global production capacity of the Mirai to more than 5,700. While most refueling stations are currently located in California, the automaker has partnered with Air Liquide to expand stations in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. The all-new Toyota Mirai is set go on sale in the United States later this year. For more information, visit San Francisco Toyota.