Toyota spending $168 million to make more Mirai fuel cell vehicles

2016 Toyota Mirai

The last semi-official number we had for pre-orders for the 2016 Toyota Mirai fuel cell vehicle was around 200. But demand is strong enough that Toyota is saying that it will spend 20 billion yen ($168 million US) to expand annual production capacity at the «secretive workshop» where the Mirai will be built from 700 in the first year (2015) to around 2,000 after that.

Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported the increase and also breaks down where Toyota expects to sell the small number of Mirai vehicles it will make in the first few years: 400 in Japan by the end of 2015, 200 or 300 In the US in 2015 (and then 3,000 by the end of 2017) and between 50 and 100 in Europe annually starting around 2016. To make all of these hydrogen cars, Toyota will add two lines to the factory where the fuel cell stacks and tanks are built and it will also upgrade the assembly location.

In the US, the Mirai will initially only be sold in California next year and will start at $57,500 or lease for $499 a month for 36 months (with $3,649 due at signing). The Japanese automaker is including hydrogen fuel for «up to three years» at that price, mostly because no one knows how to accurately measure and sell H2 for cars quite yet.

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