Toyota has begun discussing its 2016 Mirai fuel cell vehicle with fleet customers, and will roll out a strategy to place the vehicle in the hands of commercial and government fleet users in 2015.
Toyota's Mirai will go on sale in Japan in late 2014, followed by Europe and then the U.S. in the fall of 2015. The vehicle will also be sold in the northeastern U.S. in 2016. The vehicle will carry a retail price of $57,500, and will also be offered on a lease priced at $499 per month, the automaker has announced.
“The Mirai’s game-changing technology could fit into commercial or government fleets with centralized fueling and seeking to send a green message to their communities or customers,” said Mark Oldenburg, Toyota’s national fleet marketing, mobility and strategic planning manager.
Toyota has already hosted several events with commercial fleets about the vehicle, Oldenburg said.
"We've has several events with commercial customers and we've had extremely positive feedback," he told a group of editors with Automotive Fleet and Government Fleet magazines. "It's geared toward commercial accounts that have a strong green message, who want to make an environmental statement."
Toyota plans to place demo Mirai vehicles in the hands of potential fleet users in 2015 and will bring the Mirai to its annual Toyota Fleet Executive Business meeting each June at th Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel in southern California. Fleet attendees will be able to test-drive the vehicle.
The Mirai will help Toyota comply with zero-emission vehicle mandates in California as well as New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. The vehicle should fall into the category of "compliance car" to help Toyota meet these requirements.
Calfornia has begun building out hydrogen fueling infrastructure, after the state's energy commission approved $200 million for new fuel stations. Honda has said it will also sell a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle in the U.S. That vehicle has been delayed to 2016.