Five Things You Need to Know About the 2016 Toyota Mirai

Sami Haj-Assaad
by Sami Haj-Assaad

Known for bringing hybrid cars to the masses, Toyota is looking to revolutionize the industry again with the 2016 Mirai, a hydrogen fuel cell powered car that can have zero carbon emissions.

That zero emission future also comes with sustainability, meaning we can fuel our cars without relying on fossil fuels like oil. While the Mirai isn’t the first hydrogen fuel cell car to be offered for sale in the US, it has a number of important advancements in performance, availability and support. Before we go into what you need to know about the Mirai, lets start with how it works.

See Also: 2016 Toyota Mirai Video Review

Basically, the car houses two tanks that can be filled with compressed Hydrogen gas. The Hydrogen passes through something called a Hydrogen fuel-cell stack, which adds Oxygen to the Hydrogen. This process creates electricity through a chemical reaction, which powers the front wheels. The only by-product is water, which comes out of the back of the car. It’s like having an electric generator in your car, but powered by hydrogen. In fact, the Mirai could act like a generator for your house in the case of an emergency, providing enough electricity to power the average household for a week.

Sound interesting? Then read on to find out more key details you should know about the Mirai.

The 2015 Mirai will be able to travel about 300 miles on a single tank of hydrogen gas and will take just five minutes to fuel up. This is pretty good compared to other zero-emission vehicles. The 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf for example has a range of just 83 miles and takes four hours to recharge on a 240V outlet. Even the Tesla Model S takes 20 minutes to recharge to 200 miles if you use the special super charger station.

Compared to other hydrogen cars, the Mirai is a step up, as the 2015 Hyundai Tucson FCV can only travel 265 miles on a tank while the Honda FCX Clarity offered 240 miles.

Under the hood of the Mirai is an electric motor that makes 153 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque, which can send this 4,000 lbs. car to 60 mph in about 9 seconds. This is the most powerful motor fitted to a fuel-cell vehicle.

When it comes to buying, Toyota will offer customers both lease and outright purchase options. If you’d like to lease the Mirai, it will cost you $499 a month for 36 months. Leasing will require $3,649 down at the time of signing, and customers may be eligible for a $5,000 state rebate.

If you’d like to buy the car outright, it will cost $58,325 before any incentives, including destination. In California that will drop to $45,325 after the rebates.

So you know the range and price, but how much will it cost to fuel up? Zero dollars. That’s right, it’ll be free – at least for now. Since hydrogen powered cars are in their infancy, there are very few standards in place when it comes to charging for the fuel. So automakers will cover the fuel bills until something is in place. There’s also a pesky problem of being unable to actually measure how much hydrogen is being pumped into a car, but solutions are on the way. For now though, early adopters will be happy to know that the refueling costs are planned to be covered for up to three years.

But where will you fuel? Right now, you’ll find the most stations in California. There are 48 stations planned to be up and running by the end of 2016, all located in strategic places so you won’t have to be scrambling and traveling out of your way in order to get a refill. For now though there are 11 stations in in California, compared to the the roughly 13,000 gas stations spread across the state.

The company also knows that the car is only part of the puzzle. It’s now dedicated to enhancing and expanding the infrastructure of hydrogen fuel stations. The company is lending $7.3 million to FirstElement Fuels in order to help finance an additional 19 stations in California and is working hard to get more stations on the way.

In the US, expect the Mirai to be limited to the state of California at first. The company is planning to sell about 200 units next year in the US, with the total expanding to 3,000 by the end of 2017.

The company also announced that there will eventually be availability in other parts of the country, specifically the north east, where Toyota is collaborating with Air Liquide to bring 12 more stations to five states – New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

Toyota knows that being an early adopter is a big gamble, which is why its offering a ton of support for its Mirai buyers. The Japanese automaker promises to provide a comprehensive ownership experience that includes:

-A 24/7 concierge service that connects you to a a dedicated fuel cell representative in order to answer any questions you have.

-A 24/7 enhanced roadside assistance package which provides towing, battery, flat tire assistance, trip interruption reimbursement and a loaner vehicle.

-Three years of Toyota Care maintenance, which covers all recommended factory maintenance, up to 12,000 miles annually.

-An eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty on fuel cell components.

-Standard Entune infotainment service with three years of complimentary Safety Connect which includes a hydrogen station map app.

Interested in learning more about the Mirai? We’ll have our first drive video and review coming up soon on AutoGuide, so check back in the near future. In the mean time, check out the 2015 Toyota Mirai specs and information at our future car page.

Sami Haj-Assaad
Sami Haj-Assaad

Sami has an unquenchable thirst for car knowledge and has been at AutoGuide for the past six years. He has a degree in journalism and media studies from the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto and has won multiple journalism awards from the Automotive Journalist Association of Canada. Sami is also on the jury for the World Car Awards.

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4 of 8 comments
  • Narg Narg on Nov 19, 2014

    Fuel Cell is NOT the future. At least not in the foreseeable future for now. It's maintenance schedule is massive compared to other cars, and the production of Hydrogen is a greenhouse gas nightmare right now. The "zero emission" thing is 100% bull. Shame on the government for giving tax credits for this stupid idea of a car.

    • See 1 previous
    • Shadow Shadow on Dec 07, 2014

      have you researched the amount of energy that is required to separate H from H2O?

  • FJjim FJjim on Dec 14, 2014

    What is funny is that in the information age People are to lazy to look up the truth about the thing/cars presented to them.