The 2021 Toyota Mirai will gain nearly 30% more range over last year’s model, the company announced.
Improvements to the sedan's fuel cell system and larger hydrogen storage has moved the Mirai's targeted range to more than 400 miles.
“We are committed to fuel cell electric vehicles as an elegantly sustainable powertrain, because it’s a clean, scalable platform that can meet a broad range of mobility needs with zero emissions,” said Jackie Birdsall, Toyota senior fuel cell engineer. “In fact, I believe that hydrogen-powered FCEVs will one day be as common as our hybrids. Toyota began developing this technology at the same time as hybrid-electric, though the first fuel cell didn’t hit the road until Mirai debuted in 2015.
Since 2015, Toyota has sold about 6,000 Mirai sedans in the U.S.
Birdsall acknowledged that small sales numbers like that may lead to some asking whether the company should continue investing in the technology. Toyota believes that it should, she noted.
Further sales of hydrogen vehicles will rely on the Toyota’s broader education of the technology to the public, Birdsall said. Sales growth of the product will also be dependent on the development of hydrogen fueling infrastructure.
Most cities in the U.S. do not have hydrogen infrastructure in place, so Toyota is working with governments in regions across the U.S. to educate them on why building hydrogen infrastructure is so important, Birdsall added.
California, the state where most Mirais have been sold, happens to have 38 hydrogen fueling stations.