Toyota has delivered the first 11 of its fuel cell vehicles to the UK
Japanese automaker Toyota has delivered the first Mirai fuel cell vehicles to the United Kingdom. The vehicle does not officially launch until September, but 11 have been made available in a limited capacity, with business customers having to pay approximately $60,000 for the vehicle. Toyota has limited its focus to only a handful of European markets, including the United Kingdom, Germany, and Denmark. These markets have been working to establish a hydrogen fuel infrastructure that will support these vehicles.
Mirai may help bring about a new generation of clean transportation
Karl Schlicht, executive vice president of Toyota Europe, believes that the Mirai will help usher in a new era for clean transportation and fuel cell vehicles in general mark a major turning point for the auto industry. The Mirai is designed to deliver safe and enjoyable mobility over the next 100 years, which may be an ambitious goal, as these vehicles have not yet managed to obtain the support of the majority of consumers.
Automaker has found success in clean transportation before
Toyota has a history of revolutionize transportation. More than 15 years ago, the automaker launched the first Prius, which has become one of the most successful full electric hybrid vehicles that has ever been released. The Prius managed to attract more attention to the clean transportation space and proved that clean vehicles can become a commercial success among consumers and businesses. The Mirai may find similar success, but it will need the aid of a comprehensive fuel infrastructure in order to achieve such a goal.
Lacking infrastructure may limit the appeal of fuel cell vehicles
Lack of a hydrogen fuel infrastructure has limited the appeal of fuel cell vehicles. These vehicles require hydrogen in order to produce the electrical power that they use to operate. In the United Kingdom, hydrogen stations are becoming more common, but growth of the overall infrastructure has been quite slow. This is largely due to the costs associated with developing new fueling stations, as well as the somewhat low appeal of fuel cell vehicles when compared to more conventional transportation solutions.