Toyota Believes the Mirai has a Big Future Ahead of it
Most people think that Toyota just got into hydrogen fuel-cell technology because they learned about the Mirai. That’s simply not the case. The automaker has been working on the tech behind the Mirai for the past 23 years and is one of the most dedicated companies to the technology. Toyota knows that hydrogen powered vehicles could be a very big thing for the world and something that should be pursued heavily, but they’ve come up against some pretty serious problems with the release of the Mirai. The hydrogen refueling infrastructure still isn’t there and Toyota has been scaling back the sales of the vehicle for that very reason. That doesn’t mean the tech will fail, or that it’s not worth the time and effort, it just means the company has to work even harder than before to make it happen, and that’s exactly what they seem to be doing.
Creating Refueling Networks
Toyota has run into some hiccups while trying to sell the Mirai to customers and get the vehicle spread out throughout California. Refueling stations that were supposed to open already have been behind schedule and the company actually had to open up the dealerships where the vehicles were sold to handle refueling tasks. For the automaker, one of the biggest challenges of getting hydrogen vehicles out to the general public is building up a solid refueling infrastructure. A total of 49 stations are supposed to open in California to serve that market, but Toyota is already working on getting some stations in New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Connecticut. The company plans on having major success with the Mirai and future hydrogen vehicles and is banking big time on the tech that’s supposed to be better than electricity.
Almost half of the Mirai is put together by hand, and the remaining sections of the vehicle are handled by robots. This process helps keep costs down while guaranteeing a high level of precision and accuracy where it’s needed most. The vehicle is unique and the construction process will likely become even more streamlined in time, but Toyota takes a great deal of care making sure that they are built to high standards.
There isn’t too much information about what Toyota plans for the future beyond the Mirai, but the automaker still has pretty big plans for the little hydrogen-powered car. The company wants to have 3,000 Mirais out on the open road by 2017, and it plans to make those sales numbers jump even further after that point.
Releasing hydrogen vehicles to the general public and getting them to adapt the technology and actively embrace it is a bold goal. It’s something that most automakers would never dream of doing, but Toyota isn’t a common automaker. As the pioneer of hydrogen vehicles and one of the largest automakers in the world Toyota has the experience and the power to make its goal happen.