Toyota Launches First Fuel Cell Vehicle Aimed Directly At Future Tesla Buyers

The first of Toyota’s hydrogen-powered Mirais exported to Europe and the UK have landed on the shores, awaiting delivery to the final consumers.

While the landing of the limited availability Mirai on the shores of the UK is not set to disrupt the current best sellers, it marks a significant change in the car industry which may foreshadow a total change in how cars will be powered in the future.

The Toyota Mirai is not the sole hydrogen-powered car in the UK car market – it is probable that if you search keenly, you will come across a Hyundai ix35 FCEV – but Toyota has sufficiently confirmed that it can alter customers’ mind-sets to alternately powered vehicles with the Toyota Prius, and we would not gamble against them having the same success with the Mirai. When Toyota starts something it generally sees it through to fruition, making the Mirai’s debut bigger than it seems.

Currently there are only 11 Toyota Mirais allocated to the UK market yet this vanguard comes with many clear advantages over an electric vehicle such as eliminating range anxiety and refueling wait times, problems which will not be solved anytime soon by electric carmakers such as Tesla or General Motors. The car, while not flashy like the current Teslas, is a legitimate threat to its upcoming low priced Model 3. 

Speaking on the car’s entry into the European market, Toyota Europe VP Karl Schlicht said “This marks the debut of a new age for clean mobility, a turning point in the history of the automobile. With Mirai and its fuel cell technology, Toyota is working on delivering clean, safe and enjoyable mobility for the next 100 years. We are looking forward to the start of deliveries of the first Mirai to customers from September and to see the future taking shape on European roads.”

According to Fleet News, Toyota is looking to increase awareness, appreciation and reception of fuel cell know-how and to promote the improvement of the hydrogen energy creation and retail infrastructure this innovative generation of cars requires.

The know-how that Toyota has gained with its thriving creation of hybrid power very much contributes to the highly developed engineering proficiency used to build the Toyota Fuel Cell technology and positions the vehicle as a legitimate, if nascent, challenger to more established electric vehicles. Toyota plans to release the Mirai to multiple markets around the world in the coming months, though in similar quantities to what Europe has received. The limited edition vehicles are priced just under $60,000 and come with attractive $499 per month lease rates, which the company expects to be popular.

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