Why Are Toyota Mirai's Sales Low? Statement from Toyota!
Toyota continues to invest in hydrogen fuel cell vehicle technology. However, the Mirai model with this technology could not reach the expected sales figures. Toyota's vice president, Hiroki Nakajima, explained the reason for Mirai's failure and the company's new strategy.
Hydrogen Filling Stations Are Insufficient
Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are seen as a more environmentally friendly and efficient alternative to electric vehicles. However, the biggest obstacle to the widespread use of these vehicles is the scarcity of hydrogen filling stations. Nakajima said at the Japan Mobility Fair that installing hydrogen filling stations was “difficult.” This limited sales of the Mirai, and the model “was not a success,” he said.
According to the United States Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels Data Center, there are only 57 hydrogen filling stations in the United States, and they are all in California. This number is far behind the charging stations that electric vehicles can use.
Will Focus on Commercial Vehicles
Nakajima said hydrogen is especially suitable for vehicles traveling between two points. These vehicles are generally used for commercial purposes and follow a specific route. Therefore, he stated that the number and location of hydrogen filling stations can be planned more easily.
In this regard, Toyota and Isuzu announced that they will jointly develop lightweight hydrogen fuel cell trucks. These trucks will be both environmentally friendly and suitable for long-distance transportation.
Mirai Model Will Continue
Toyota will not completely abandon the Mirai model. The first-generation Mirai model failed to surpass 2,000 units sold, but the second-generation model has surpassed that figure every year since 2021. In the first nine months of this year, 80 Mirai sedans were sold, up more than 2,604% from last year.
Other automakers still haven't given up hope on hydrogen-powered passenger vehicles. Honda introduced its hydrogen fuel cell CR-V-based crossover model this month. This model will be released in the US and Japan next year, but the limited availability of filling stations may restrict its sales and availability like the Mirai.