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Toyota Dealers Can Take Mirai Orders Next Month

Hydrogen fuel-cell sedan selling in California to start.

by on May.06, 2015

Toyota dealers in California will begin taking orders for the hydrogen fuel cell-powered Mirai next month.

The era of the fuel cell vehicle in the United States will hit a growth spurt early next month in California when Toyota dealers begin taking orders for the maker’s hydrogen fuel cell-powered Mirai.

The $58,000 alternative fuel vehicle starts arriving in dealer showrooms this October, according to the Japanese automaker. It will only be sold in California, which is the only state with enough hydrogen-fueling infrastructure for the purchase to make sense.

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The California Energy Commission is investing $46.6 million to accelerate the development of hydrogen fueling stations. The cash infusion will add 28 new stations to the existing nine stations. There are another 17 sites in various stages of development, which would bring the total stations expected online in the next couple of years to 54. That commission’s goal is 100 stations. (more…)

Toyota Baiting Mirai Buyers with Free Fuel

Japanese maker plans to have car in showrooms in October.

by on Apr.15, 2015

The Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle will hit showrooms in the U.S. this fall with free fuel to buyers.

Automakers have been providing a variety of incentives to entice buyers for decades, but Toyota’s trying to kill two birds with one stone when it comes to its new Mirai: free fuel.

The Mirai is a small four-door sedan that uses hydrogen fuel cell to generate the electricity that drives the car 300 miles on a full tank – a tank that takes just five minutes to refuel.

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First, everyone likes free fuel, but with potential Mirai buyers it’s almost a must. While hydrogen may be the most abundant gas on Earth, it’s almost non-existent when talking about fueling up a vehicle. California, where most of the Mirais will be sold, has the largest number of public fueling stations with nine, but that number is expected to rise to 20 by the end of the year. (more…)

Toyota “Staying the Course” Towards 54.5 MPG CAFE Target

“Eventually,” says auto chief Carter, $4 gas “will come back.”

by on Jan.14, 2015

Toyota's Bob Carter said Americans need to be prepared for a return to $4 gas in the future.

Enjoy cheap gas while you can, says Bob Carter, the head of U.S. automotive operations for Toyota. Like all good things, it “eventually” will come to an end.

The collapse of gas prices was the talk of the North American International Auto Show during this week’s media previews, and senior industry officials universally said that this unexpected shift has both its benefits and challenges.

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Consumers have more money to spend, but they’re also asking for the sort of big, powerful vehicles that could make it difficult to meet the upcoming, 54.5-mile per gallon Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, standards that will take effect in 2025. (more…)

Toyota Giving Away 1,000s of Fuel Cell Patents

Japanese maker betting it can spur market for hydrogen power.

by on Jan.06, 2015

The Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle will go on sale in the U.S. by mid-2015.

In an unusual – but not entirely unprecedented – move, Toyota officials announced they will give free access to nearly 6,000 different patents covering advanced fuel cell technology to the company’s competitors.

The announcement, made during a news conference at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, comes as Toyota begins production of its new Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. Though the Japanese giant was an early pioneer in the use of hybrid powertrain technology it has largely turned its corporate back on more advanced electric vehicles, betting that hydrogen provides a better way to meet the need for zero-emissions vehicles.

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“We think (hydrogen) will solve a lot of problems associated with electric vehicles,” such as limited range and long recharging times, said Bob Carter, Senior Vice President of Automotive Operations for Toyota Motor Sales USA.


Toyota Launching Hydrogen Car by Year-End

But new fuel-cell vehicles could carry steep price tag.

by on Jun.09, 2014

Toyota unveiled its FCV hydrogen concept vehicle at the Tokyo Motor Show last autumn.

Toyota will launch production of its first commercially available hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle before the end of the year, according to a report from Japan. That would appear to be months ahead of its original plans.

Toyota, which hasn’t changed its stance of “2015 or sooner” for the release of the car, first revealed plans to get into the hydrogen car market last autumn, at the biennial Tokyo Motor Show. It has produced a number of prototypes in years past, but the Japanese giant has been suggesting that it might go the fuel-cell route as an alternative to depending on battery-electric vehicles to meet tough new Zero-Emission Vehicle, or ZEV standards.

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The first Toyota battery cars would come in at around 8 million yen, according to the Japan Times, which would work out to a hefty $78,000, though the English-language publication noted that by the beginning of the next decade, Toyota would like to trim that to somewhere between 3 million to 5 million yen, or between $30,000 and $50,000 at current exchange rates.


Toyota Fuel-Cell Vehicle Makes its U.S. Debut

Production launch scheduled for 2015.

by on Jan.07, 2014

Toyota's Bob Carter reveals the FCV hydrogen car concept vehicle at CES.

Americans are getting their first look at the hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicle that Toyota plans to put into production next year, and the maker is calling the FCV prototype a better mousetrap, a vehicle that can largely do anything a conventional, gas-powered automobile can do – minus the noxious emissions.

The Toyota FCV was first unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show last November and is now on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It will make the trek to the Detroit Auto Show next week – where it will be joined by hydrogen-powered concept vehicles from both Honda and Hyundai.

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“We aren’t trying to re-invent the wheel;  just everything necessary to make them turn,” said Toyota Motor Sales Senior Vice President Bob Carter, during a news conference at CES, the big consumer electronics trade show. “Fuel cell electric vehicles will be in our future sooner than many people believe, and in much greater numbers than anyone expected.”


Toyota Jumps into Hydrogen Fuel Cell Fray with FCV

New vehicle coming in 2015 to Japan; U.S. and Europe to follow.

by on Nov.21, 2013

The Toyota FCV is already facing competition from Hyundai's fuel cell-powered Tucson.

Toyota is the latest automaker this week to jump headlong into the hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicle market with its plan to begin selling its FCV in Japan in 2015 with the United States and Europe to follow.

The Japanese maker’s announcement follows similar proclamations from Honda and Hyundai, which pledged to offer fuel cell vehicles in a similar time frame. Toyota has been tinkering with hydrogen power since 1992 but this time, “I think it’s the real deal,” said Jim Lentz, Toyota’s top U.S. executive.

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“I think this is a real solution because consumers want clean vehicles that act like today’s cars, and this is as close as you get.” (more…)

Toyota to Reveal New Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Vehicle in Tokyo

FCV Concept to share stage with FT-86 convertible, other concepts.

by on Nov.06, 2013

Toyota is planning to introduce its FCV, Fuel Cell Vehicle, during the Tokyo Motor Show later this month. It's expected to go on sale in 2015.

The Tokyo Motor Show has a history of mixing the wild and wacky with the futuristic, and the eight different models Toyota plans to reveal during the upcoming event underscore that reputation – while also giving a good look at several models soon to join the giant maker’s line-up, including a new hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle Toyota plans to launch in 2015.

Also on tap: a convertible version of the FT-86, the product of a joint venture with smaller Japanese maker Subaru. The original coupe version is also being sold, in various markets, as the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ.

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In keeping with Tokyo tradition, the Toyota line-up adds such eccentric offerings as the skateboard-like FV2, which abandons the traditional steering wheel, and the golf cart-like Toyota iRoad. (more…)

Toyota Prepping Next-Generation Hybrid Drive

Japanese maker will reveal new fuel-cell vehicle in January at CES.

by on Aug.29, 2013

Toyota is developing a new, higher-mileage hybrid system for vehicles like the Prius shown here.

Toyota is developing a new hybrid system that is smaller, lighter and more efficient than the current version in effort to keep pace with technical changes in the auto industry. It expects the system to deliver at least 10% better fuel economy in the next-gen Toyota Prius.

But the Japanese giant also sees opportunities with other alternative-power technologies, notably hydrogen. Toyota plans to unveil a new fuel-cell vehicle next January that it will put into production in 2015.

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“Hybrid is a technology for the future and for the next 20 or 30 years,” said Satoshi Ogiso, the executive responsible for Toyota’s hybrid business, during a media briefing session on the company’s alternative power plans.


Toyota’s 2015 Hydrogen Car to Boast 300 Mile Range

Japanese maker is latest to revive interest in fuel-cell technology.

by on Jul.01, 2013

Toyota first showed the FCV-R fuel cell concept vehicle in Tokyo in 2011.

Toyota hopes that it can generate some interest in its planned hydrogen fuel cell car by ensuring the vehicle will deliver range comparable to that of a conventional gasoline vehicle – which means the zero-emissions vehicle will be able to travel about 300 miles between fill-ups.

The Japanese maker has said relatively little beyond confirming plans to go to market with a hydrogen car during the 2015 model-year.  It is now suggesting that the price tag will be somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000, comparable to something between a midsize BMW and a Tesla Model S, according to the Bloomberg news service.

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The production model is expected to draw influence from the FCV-R concept unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2011, and a more production-ready version is expected to be revealed during the next Tokyo show, this coming November.