Toyota is to triple output of its FCV, now named Mirai

Toyota is to triple output of its FCV, now named Mirai

Toyota is to triple domestic production of its recently announced Mirai fuel cell vehicle following strong demand from the corporate and public sector according to the Nikkei business daily.

It said the carmaker would ramp up output of fuel cell stacks and hydrogen tanks at its headquarters factory in Aichi Prefecture, adding two lines by the end of 2015. Equipment will also be upgraded at another Aichi site that handles vehicle assembly involving a total cost of JPY20bn (US$165m).

The Mirai has attracted strong interest from businesses and public offices with orders likely exceed the current annual capacity of 700, company insiders told the Nikkei. Exports to the US and Europe are also expected to begin in summer 2015 and demand is expected to be high, particularly in California due to regulations favouring zero emissions vehicles.

Toyota plans to sell 400 Mirais in Japan by the end of 2015 and about 3,000 units or more by the end of 2017 in the US. In Europe, the company plans to sell 50 to 100 units a year from around 2016.

With other FCVs coming to market in small volumes next year from Hyundai, Kia, Honda and Daimler, carmakers are hoping to attract more capital investment by companies that build hydrogen stations and manufacturers of related products.