Toyota to More Than Quadruple Production of New Mirai Fuel Cell Car

On Thursday2015-Toyota-Mirai-3, Toyota announced plans to significantly increase production of its Mirai fuel cell car after a successful launch in Japan this past December.

The Japanese automaker said the new plan calls for production to increase from 700 units this year to approximately 2,000 in 2016 and around 3,000 in 2017.

“Considering the approximately 1,500 orders received in the first month of sales in Japan, and the upcoming launches in Europe and the United States later this year, it was decided that the supply structure should be adjusted to reflect the level of demand for the vehicle,” Toyota said in a statement.

Toyota’s original sales projections for Japan were only 400 cars during its first year in the market. Many analysts believe that one of the biggest problems that fuel cell cars face is the limited availability of hydrogen fueling stations, but Toyota said it is considering this issue.

“Following the production increases, sales plans for Japan, the US and Europe will be formulated, taking into consideration the level of hydrogen infrastructure development, energy policies, car purchasing subsidies, consumer demand, environmental regulations and other factors in each region.”

The Mirai’s powertrain system combines hydrogen and oxygen from the air to generate electricity that can power the car’s electric motor for approximately 300 miles (483 km) on a single fill-up.

Toyota i-Road electric three-wheeler gets green light for early production

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Toyota‘s i-Road three-wheeler concept is set to make it off the drawing board and onto the road. Toyota has announced that a limited production run of the fully enclosed, tilting EV will begin shortly, with initial units being transferred to Toyota’s Ha:mo urban transport system trials in Toyota City.

When the i-Road burst onto the scene at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, it felt like one of those design concepts that, although innovative and exciting, would probably disappear as do most of that ilk. But now Toyota has put its money where its mouth is, and is producing a short production run, probably numbering in the hundreds, to add to it’s prototype Ha:mo urban transport system.

The i-Road is an electric personal mobility vehicle with two in-line seats, that leans into the corners like a motorcycle. With only five horsepower, a top speed of 45 km/h (30 mph), and a range of 50 km (30 mi), the i-Road is aimed squarely at an urban transport market.

Toyota is running its Harmonious Mobility Network (Ha:mo for short) in Toyota City, located in Aichi, Japan. Designed as a system to improve urban transportation by combining private car and public transportation, Ha:mo is aimed at making both urban transportation and the urban culture more people- and community friendly.

The Ha:mo RIDE project is a car sharing system using ultracompact electric vehicles that provides transportation to and within the city center; for example, between a train station and a passenger’s workplace. At present the system has ten Toyota COMS personal mobility vehicles and ten ToyotaPAS power assisted bicycles. These are available at four stations where they can be rented and returned after use.

In the planned expansion, these numbers will be increased to 100 of each, with 100 i-Roads being added in early 2014. The number of rental stations will be increased to seventeen, providing service at train stations and major public buildings to facilitate quick turnover of the rentals. A rental fee of 20 yen (about 20 US cents) per minute will also be instituted.