Toyota announced this week that it is the first automaker to offer a zero (local) emissions vehicle with a range of over 300 miles. While other automakers are planning more affordable battery-electric EVs that will be able to go 200 miles without refueling or recharging, Toyota’s Mirai has been evaluated by the EPA and that agency has stamped the FCEV with a 312 mile range. The Mirai’s only tailpipe emission is water vapor. Vehicles of this type are called ZEVs, or zero emission vehicles, by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), who is the current de facto regulator of green vehicle technology in the US.
Toyota also revealed that the EPA’s estimated miles per gallon equivalent for the Mirai is 67 MPGe. Owners in the California market, where the Mirai will first be marketed, will not have to do any math to figure out their fuel costs per mile for the first three years. Toyota is providing the fuel at no charge during that period as part of the cost of the car.
The hydrogen fuel cell Mirai joins the Honda and Hyundai hydrogen fuel cell EVs in the market. Automakers are being pushed by the California Air Resources Board to produce zero tailpipe emissions vehicles and awards incentives about triple that of a battery electric vehicle to cars like the Mirai. Consumers are also being enticed with double the EV cash rebates by CARB. The Mirai fuels faster than an EV and will enter the market at a price point where the other EVs have about a third of the Mirai’s range.
Challenges for fuel cell electric cars include limited fueling station locations, but Toyota will be coordinating the sales of the Mirai to place the relatively few vehicles it plans to sell into areas where the fuel is available. Toyota says it will sell 3,000 Mirai’s over a two and a half year period starting this summer.