2016 Toyota Mirai launch goes awry due to lack of fueling stations
When Toyota announced that it was building a zero-emissions fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) the electric vehicle jihad was horrified. Any threat to their battery-electric plan regardless of its effect on air quality and reducing fuel use is seen as a negative. BEV activists seized on trouble with fueling as the main reason that FCEVs would fail. In the short term, they have been proven right. Inside EVs has detailed the Toyota Mirai’s rollout and this week explained how the hydrogen-fueled EV has been sidelined.
Toyota says it is not a stop-sale, but it has asked dealers to stop selling the Mirai. The problem is simple; there is no place at which to fuel the vehicle. Despite an aggressive plan to build fueling stations enthusiastically supported by the State of California (CARB) and hydrogen suppliers, there have been no real gains in putting in place any reasonable fueling solutions. Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota was quoted as saying “It is not a stop-sale, we have just asked (the dealers) not to make deliveries until we have a station open.”
Depending upon how you judge the launch of a new vehicle, green cars have had three flops in the past three months. The New 2016 Nissan Leaf launched this past quarter, and its sales are at about a third of the Leaf’s former high point. The new 2016 Tesla Model X launched in late September and by the end of the year only 208 vehicles had been delivered to customers by Tesla. The new Chevy Volt fared a little better with the all-new model’s sales showing an uptick, but still below the model’s historic high.