The hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai, which goes on sale in the US later this year, will go an estimated 312 miles on a tank according to official figures released by the company this week. As Toyota notes, that's further than any zero-emission vehicle on the market — including the Tesla Model S — but that's counterbalanced by the inconvenient scarcity of hydrogen refill stations. The car will go on US sale first in California, where work on a small network of stations is underway, followed by the Northeast.
There just aren't many hydrogen stations right now
Toyota also announced that the Mirai will achieve an EPA combined 67 MPGe. That's quite good compared to even ultra-efficient gasoline cars, but falls 20 or more equivalent miles per gallon short of the numbers that the Model S is putting up, and even further short of the Ford Focus Electric's 110 MPGe. In other words, for sheer energy efficiency, Toyota's hydrogen drivetrains still have catching up to do in order to match their battery-powered electric counterparts.
But for residents that are within the limited range of the fueling stations, the Mirai still makes more of an interesting proposition. Clearly, infrastructure will be this technology's single biggest inhibitor to growth, at least in the near term; fortunately, Toyota is easing the pain by tossing in up to $15,000 worth of free fill-ups to these early adopters.
For Californians, orders kick off later this summer.