Toyota working on cheaper Mirai for 2019 debut?

Toyota working on cheaper Mirai for 2019 debut?

Toyota is reportedly developing a cheaper hydrogen-powered car to help bolster sales before the end of the decade.

The mass-production model would only be slightly more affordable than the current Mirai, dropping the entry price to 5.5-6 million yen (~$50,900-$55,500 USD), according to an Asahi Shimbun report spotted by Autoblog. The current Mirai launched with an official price tag of 6.7 million yen (~$62,000 USD), though current purchase prices are said to be closer to 7.23 million yen (~$66,900 USD).

Produced at the former LFA Works factory, the Mirai requires a significant amount of manual labor. Initial output has been limited to just three units daily, far below the volume of Toyota’s other assembly plants.

The cheaper car is said to be marginally smaller than the Mirai, with revised engineering for volume production. It is expected to be built on a dedicated assembly line, enabling much higher output numbers and reducing costs via economies of scale.

Fuel-cell vehicles are still struggling to gain traction as infrastructure remains scant, with just dozens of refueling stations across the globe. Buildout appears to have accelerated in California, however the state currently only lists 16 stations as operational. Some locations have been plagued by reliability issues, leaving the station closed for weeks or forcing customers to only partially fill their vehicles.

Toyota is said to have set a FCV production target of 30,000 units annually by the end of the decade, coinciding with the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. The Japanese government earlier this year set a goal of 6,000 FCVs on Tokyo roads by 2020.

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