Report: Toyota to invest ~$165M to triple Japan production capacity for Mirai fuel cell vehicle
05 December 2014
The Nikkei reports that Toyota will invest about ¥20 billion yen ($165 million) to triple production capacity in Japan for its new Mirai fuel cell vehicle (earlier post) to meet what it describes as strong corporate and public-sector demand. The Mirai is due to go on sale in Japan 15 December; Toyota expects orders to exceed its current annual capacity of 700 units by the release date.
Toyota is also planing to begin sales in the US—especially in California—and Europe in the summer of 2015. The current sales plan is 400 Mirais in Japan by the end of 2015; 3,000 or more in the US by the end of 2017; and 50-100 units per year in Europe around 2016.
The new investment will boost output of fuel cell stacks and hydrogen tanks at the Toyota 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.
The Mirai uses the Toyota Fuel Cell System (TFCS), which features both fuel cell technology and hybrid technology, and includes proprietary Toyota-developed components including the fuel cell (FC) Stack, FC boost converter, and high-pressure hydrogen tanks. The TFCS is more energy-efficient than internal combustion engines and emits no CO2 or substances of concern (SOCs) when driven. The system accelerates Mirai from 0–60 in 9.0 seconds and delivers a passing time of 3 seconds from 25–40 mph.
This is great stuff. Let Toyota perfect the fuel cell then the aircraft manufacturers can use the patent for on-board generation and range extension for EAs(Electric Aircraft).
Posted by: Lad | 05 December 2014 at 05:49 PM
Since over 50% of cars have nowhere convenient to plug in, fuel cell cars need developing too.
Posted by: Davemart | 06 December 2014 at 02:47 AM
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 06 December 2014 at 04:34 AM
Building a new infrastructure, by a long way.
Here in Europe we already have three, petrol, diesel and natural gas.
As France recently said, diesel is to be de-emphasised, and that is going to leave a lot of spare space on forecourts.
Notions of vast cost for a hydrogen infrastructure make no allowance for pumps not lasting forever anyway.
Where battery electric infrastructure away from home does not operate under the rather peculiar Tesla notion, of being nominally paid for upfront in the cost of the car, which considering that last quarter Tesla made a loss of $9,600 for every car it made even after receiving masses of ZEV money, is of dubious long term viability, in the absence of subsidy it costs at least as much as hydrogen per mile.
The DOE shows that the cost of infrastructure for either BEVs or fuel cells is only a fraction of the real big cost, the cars themselves.
So the infrastructure for hydrogen is going in across three continents, whilst there is no sign at all of anyone embarking on the vastly expensive job of wiring up every kerbside.
BEV cars are strictly for people with garages, and the market is entirely dependent on subsidy.
Posted by: Davemart | 06 December 2014 at 05:49 AM
Wiring up home EV charging is so much easier and cheaper.
EV's are also so much simpler. The revolutionary battery tech will make EV's the way to go before HV's.
The Mirai looks equally expensive and complicated to a ICE car.
Long term, H range extender's might be worthwhile.
Posted by: GdB | 06 December 2014 at 11:59 AM
Early flat LCD TV cost 5 to 7 times more than the older generation CRT versions but, 10-15 years latter, they cost less and were 10 times better and use a lot less energy:
Early extended range BEVs ad FCEVs cost more than old generation polluting ICEVs equivalent. Second or third generation units will level the playing field. Meanwhile, many thousands will buy them follwed by many million buyers.
Lighter first generation aluminum alloy and composites vehicles will also cost more than current heavier all steel units. They will play an important role in electrified vehicles efficiency. They will last longer and save up to 40% of the energy required to go from A to B. By 2020-2025, many electrified vehicles will be built that way.
Early units cost alone will not stop progress.
Posted by: HarveyD | 06 December 2014 at 02:20 PM
Ironically, the toughest competition for the Mirai (at least in terms of taking real customer dollars) will come from - Toyota's own Prius. Half the price, twice the range, cheaper to run, much, much easier to find fuel.
Posted by: clett | 06 December 2014 at 03:00 PM
Inconceivable although you seem to find it, 50% of cars are not garaged.
Try wiring them up, and see how long it is until you are busted.
Posted by: Davemart | 06 December 2014 at 04:14 PM
Two liquids delivered by tanker to underground tanks, one gas delivered by existing pipeline. Hydrogen is neither. It needs a whole new infrastructure.
"Space on forecourts" is easy; pumps with 3 nozzles could easily be given 4, or 5. What's not easy is the production, distribution and pumping hardware for a very different fuel.
Notions of replacing diesel with aitch-too often omit allowances for the vast difference between them, and there is the small detail of the chicken/egg issue. If you have to wait for other pumps to reach end of life before fuel becomes available, nobody will be able use FCEVs there in the mean time. Without a market, what vendor is going to sell fuel?
Trivially proved by my personal experience; my infrastructure cost was zero. I already had the outlet to plug into, in my current abode and also the previous two. It wouldn't take much to co-opt existing electric infrastructure in carports to support a great many PEVs. Neither would it take much to expand that support should it turn out to be important.
Which is a massive mistake.
So 50% of users can go with EVs today, and most of the rest could probably use PHEVs with opportunity charging at work and stops other than at home. I'd say this gets most of the problem, and what remains can be dealt with over time.
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 07 December 2014 at 02:11 AM
The article says Toyota is increasing production because of higher than expected demand. I don't understand all the arguments that say no one will buy the car. Someone is obviously interested.
Posted by: JMartin | 08 December 2014 at 07:02 AM
Most FCEVs could easily become (clean) PHEVs by adding a few battery modules?
Posted by: HarveyD | 08 December 2014 at 10:50 AM