## Toyota to quadruple original production capacity for Mirai FCV; 1,400 units already ordered

##### 15 January 2015

The Nikkei reports that Toyota will further boost its production capacity for the Mirai fuel cell vehicle to 3,000 units by 2017, based on demand in Japan and the company’s plans to introduce Mirai into other markets. In December 2014, the Nikkei reported that Toyota would invest some $165 million to triple capacity (earlier post); the new report envisions a quadrupling of the original plan. Toyota had originally set production capacity at 700 units. Toyota makes fuel cell stacks and hydrogen tanks at its headquarters plant in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, and assembles the vehicle at a nearby factory. In response to brisk pre-orders, the company decided ahead of the Dec. 15 release of the vehicle to raise the annual capacity to 2,100 units at the end of this year by investing about 20 billion yen ($168 million). Now, it will raise the volume further, to 3,000 in 2017 by spending several dozen billion yen on the two facilities.

The Nikkei reports that demand for the Mirai has been strong from municipalities, businesses and affluent consumers, with orders in Japan topping 1,400 units.

With an eye to meeting California ZEV regulations, Toyota plans to sell at least 3,000 Mirai vehicles in the US by the end of 2017.

### Comments

That is pretty good for such an early stage technology, and means good utilisation of hydrogen pumps, as there are vehicles from Hyundai and a bit later Honda to to add to these figures.

In 2017 the likes of Mercedes will be chipping in too, and Toyota I seem to recall plan a second FCEV model.

To me its amazing to see manufacturers work together to make a FCV, new transmissions, and even cars together. I am glad there is more demand than they originally expected. Car manufacturers spend billions of dollars in R&D to wring out more performance from systems, and I think the ICE is about to hit its limit in the next ten years.Advanced egr, combustion mixtures, and advanced combustion timing will only help so much, but it will still be significant enough for them to pursue it.

I'm fairly excited at the prospect of a FC car, while currently I am incapable of purchasing one at the moment(for reasons of both price and availability); I just get so excited over the idea of leaving behind an ICE, a power train that miraculously spins at 8000rpms, relies on controlled ignition of a highly volatile substance, and is tremendously complex in operation.

The ICE is a marvel of science and engineering, and I think FCVs can overthrow that position of power, while maintaining all the features we know and love about the ICE today without much of the downside. People are afraid of change, some can't change, but FCVs don't really ask for too much change on the habits of the consumer. That's why I think it'll succeed.

And if PHEVs become a thing, or even become mandatory, we can use a moderate size of batteries, somewhere near the capacity of a leaf or a volt, a vast majority of miles will come from the electric grid, yet none of the vehicles will be dependant on it, none will be based around a battery that overtime weakens and becomes obsolete/diminished within 10years(or even sooner if you compare to alternative chemistries).

I feel the price of the car is an ever growing burden on the working and lower classes, to put tons of capital into a system where 80% capacity is "Normal" after 5years kind of doesn't make sense at this moment in time, I hope Tesla and Chevy can bring down the price substantially, up the reliability / long term performance we'll see much more market for BEVs, especially if they ever get to cost parity with ICEs for a similar range.

If the trend of long term ownership continues, i.e. The average age of vehicles on the road climbing i feel it will hinder BEV adoption greatly. Unless they made an industry wide standard and modular replaceable parts, updating the form factor every 5years or more(creating a market for the aftermarket). Also think of motherboards and socket types, several board makers, 2 prevalent processor makers.

If I knew i could update my Bev, to a better performing one over time, it would appeal to me.

So I look to FCVs, yes, diminished efficiency over time, but usually its rarely notable. The cost of the system is spread out over battery, tank and generator. If they launch FCV as PHEVs I think it will satiate even the most demanding of the BEV crowd.

If H2 fuel cell cars ever fall to near ICE prices - the fuel infrastructure problem remains.

One might see early large fleet center economics, perhaps even every hundred mile US interstate long haul stations.

But carting H2 gas to a 100,000 neighbor gas stations seems un-affordable - unless a tech breakthrough can ECONOMICALLY generate H2 locally.

Kellydorsey18:

There are lots of ways of providing hydrogen, many not available for petrol.

For instance you can simply use the natural gas pipelines, and reform the natural gas on the forecourt.

You can also mix hydrogen including from renewables in with the natural gas, and readily filter it out on site.

Here is an analysis of production and distribution strategies and costs:
http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/review11/h2pn01_dillich_pd_2011_o.pdf

Of course, if VW's idea is used, and they are built as PHEVs, most everyday running around would be on electric anyway, and hydrogen would only be used for longer journeys, so infrastructure and hydrogen volumes would be much reduced.

Way to go Toyota. Be the front leader again. Second an supsequent FCEVs generations may compete BEVs and help to phase out ICEVs.

H2 supply and distribution will be solved soon enough.

DM> reform the natural gas on the forecourt.

What do you do with the CO2? Carelessly toss it into the atmosphere, as if that didn't matter?

Hydrogen is a Shell game.

What do 200 million engine vehicles do with the CO2? They put it out the tailpipe along with particulates, sulfur, NOx and many other harmful by products of combustion.

eci:

What are you on about now?

Where do you think your electricity comes from?

If you are charging your car from the mains overnight then you are largely using coal as well as natural gas.

What are you doing with the CO2?

Toyota is a responsible company who know have forgotten more about engineering than you will ever know.

The folly of your relentless pumping of other less respectable companies on your blog and lack of judgement will become more apparent as the year progresses.

SJC> What do 200 million engine vehicles do with the CO2?

Yes, exactly. This is the impetus for Zero Emission Vehicles.

DM> Electricity can be produced from zero-emission, 100% renewable sources. Responsible jurisdictions are driving toward, and rewarding a clean fuel mix.

The well to wheel life cycles of H2 vs ICE vs BEV are very clear on the current status. Electrics are better today, and the only solution that is economic in the near term for zero emissions.

I agree with you. Toyota seems to have forgotten something, lost it's way...

3,000 Mirai in the US by the end of 2017. There will be several hundred thousand EVs on the road at that point, several with ~200 mile range at average car cost.

Toyota is not winning this competition, they are avoiding it. To the detriment of the entire human population.

eci,
You don't get it, FCV does not emit ANY combustion products, electric cars on the other hand emit LOTS of combustion products at the power plants.

eci:

You pick out the bits you want.

There are umpteen pathways to emission free hydrogen production which you conveniently forget every time they are referenced.

What gets me about you and your blog is the routine disrespect of the real experts and engineers at the likes of VW and Toyota, whilst you relentlessly pump a penny stock run like a fairground sideshow.

Toyota know a bit about well to wheels emissions, and how to calculate them, and have made a major contribution to reducing them.

the simplicity of battery is that we can all provide for our own at NO extra infrastructure cost as it exists in most areas of modern life.

That makes it disruptive and hard to regulate. That may well be the reason H2 is being pushed way beyond manufactures commercial interests. That is to say the govt and BIG (not car makers) business interests.That leads me to believe it is in "the boss's" interest above the end user.

Hydrogen will be fraught with regulation and suit large co's and regulation with the appropriate attached price tag.

Existing domestic supply and self generated renewable electricity to bev is a simple affordable and independent proven stand alone capable method that should suit everyone else.

The existing electricity infrastructure exists at high market penetration and would normally be expected to evolve with the greater renewable penetration, Any upgrade to meet high vehicle take up is a small concern, more likely will be beneficial.

I can see no good reason to recommend hydrogen at the expense of reducing the efforts to bring the electricity grid up to it's (required) potential

With battery tech able to meet the demands of much transport needs.While not looking suitable for the heavy lift areas such as
Heavy vehicles incl earth moving, air travel, ocean going etc.

While there is a clear demand for energy in a form as met by H2, I don't support it at the expense of the more direct, more efficient, more suitable for empowering system we are seeing evolve with new battery chemistries development and known potential.

It is surprising to read that so many posters think that they are smarter that the number one world car manufacturer (Toyota).

FCEVs or FCVs have a lot to offer. Japan and Germany may be smart enough to realize its potential. Many posters may not be sufficiantly informed or smart enough?

Secondly, USAs energy mix is changing faster and REs are gaining. This could mean that clean H2 is not too far away.

If, with bev, I can refuell from home with affordable infrastructure what is not to like?
I don't see H2 acheiving that anytime soon.

It's a no brainer that Japan will go H2 hence Toyota others are on board.
Germany and France yep SO?

Can't see H2 penetrating developing countries other than the globalised or big turnover industries Certainly not self sufficient applications anytime soon.

Another consideration is that the same say P.V. will up skill everyone to the smallest participant. H2 at present is a specialised read propriety game.
Hence it's popularity with big any.

You know that there is no argument to answer when your detractors resort to abuse and mindless rhetoric.

Very well said Arnold. This isn't about who is smarter. This is about whose interests are served.

And who drives down the wrong road toward a cliff. Kodak, Xerox, all had plenty of smart people, even the execs at the top calling the shots. Those smarts didn't save them from being unable to turn around after flying into a box canyon.

Incumbent major automakers don't like electric cars because they can't create IP barriers to entry. Nothing too difficult to understand about that.

Some think if you produce enough batteries they will be real cheap, that may be true to an extent. Now you have size, weight, cycle time, shelf life and other considerations.

Now some of the same people think the next battery 2x, 3x, 4x break through is just around the corner. I look at more than a decade of going from laptops to EVs with LOTS of work to make them safer. Then look at the last 5 years trying for sulfur, air, vanadium, magnesium and other methods.. we have a long way to go.

You're certainly entitled to your viewpoint, SJC. But speaking of smart guys, Dr Martin Winterkorn, CEO of VW apparently believes that batteries are the way to go, and not far from making significant improvements:

http://media.vw.com/release/868

Carlos Ghosn. He's pretty smart. Runs two really big auto firms. Bullish on batteries.

http://dailykanban.com/2014/12/battery-breakthrough-nissan-poised-take-range-off-table/

Love him or hate him, Elon Musk is smart. Docking this week with the international space station. Really smart. This guy is just nuts about batteries.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-05/musk-battery-works-fill-utilities-with-fear-and-promise.html

Yi Cui is not an industrialist, he's a scientist. Stanford man. Smarts? Off the scale.

http://web.stanford.edu/group/cui_group/

On his worst day, like after the bender he will probably never have, he is smarter than me and you and Davemart put together. On our best day (all at the same time!) By about ten times, at least.

Very enthusiastic about batteries.

It's cool if you're not. I respect that. But let's not pretend it's about who is smartest.

Meanwhile, FFVs may become much cheaper , lighter and more efficient with smaller H2 tank.

Making H2 with clean low cost electricity during off peak periods and storing it in mid-pressure tanks or in NG pipelines is not that difficult to do.

> not that difficult to do

No not difficult. Just not cheap.

I don't understand why posters insist on declaring winners in a race that has just begun. If you can tell me exactly what gasoline will cost 5 years from now, maybe you can tell me how much electricity or hydrogen will cost. But I won't believe it until a winner emerges. I personally think there is a place for all of these technologies. Among other things, hydrogen, whether cheap or not, can provide certainty that renewable electricity cannot. It is not a question of which is the cheapest or best technology, it is a matter of what mix works. After all, I can buy 3 grades of gasoline or diesel, and guess what -- they all sell, and at different prices. Explain that.

DaveMart > whilst you relentlessly pump a penny stock run like a fairground sideshow

I'm just curious DaveMart. What penny stock am I pumping?

I don't hold any financial position in any transportation related enterprise. I publish a print magazine about Electric Vehicles that's distributed on major newsstands all over North America.

I also produce an event called Electric Car Guest Drive that gives folks an opportunity to drive EVs in a non-sales setting. It's a peer to peer event. There are no car dealers or manufacturers present. It's an educational thing, no sales pitch at all.

What do you think I'm promoting, other than EVs in general?

There is very little difference conceptually between the FCV
and Battery, the physics are very close.

A FCev requires every component that the Bev plus some. The battery (or maybe Capacitors) and downstream drivetrain are identical.
That is the battery and electric drivetrain.

Ideally the chosen FC type EV starts with a hybrid platform with modest battery but the higher the battery capacity and lower the weight as well as better life expectancy, the better the platform.
We see this now in hybrids and plug in hybrids.

It is pointless calling one better or winner from the engineers point of view.

The very same improvements that enable Bev's transfers directly to FCv.

The fact that the Bev architecture is mandatory, suggests to me that development efforts here at the root will have an order of magnitude greater as it returns benefits across the industry as well as other consumer markets plus grid storage.(hint)

With higher efficiency numbers quoted for electrolysis H2, It must be hard to put a number to the end efficiency differences and convenience must be seen in context.

We can be sure that they will both be found in the same repair shop requiring the same cross X ? discipline skillset and likely built in the same factories.

That this leads to greater choice is a good thing. If only to give creative people their head.
Neither path leads to greater environmental benefits as both are capable of near zero emission.

My crystal ball sees the Bev very likely in my future but it can (will) be upgraded via future internet downloads.

If we got H2 fuel from the same renewable sources, at the same efficient price, that might be true Arnold. But unfortunately we don't.

Commercial H2 comes from Methane. In California, there's a reg that requires 30% to come from renewables, so there is that.

But the rest is humiliated Methane. Stripped naked of the carbon molecules that used to make it reasonably easy and economic to handle.

Not the same as BEVs at all, sadly.

I do accept your point that FCV cars do have electric motors and smaller batteries and will require some of the same skill sets to build and repair.

But BEV technicians won't have to take classes about 10,000 PSI storage tanks, fuel lines and very complicated FC stacks/pumps/compressors/.

And BEV owners won't have to pay for that maintenance.

It makes sense that FC will come at a higher cost from added complexity though that may reduce to the added processing and storage as cheaper stacks evolve.

There would be low cost options as well for supply when integrated to various gas pipelies.

To supply those pipelines I would suggest the *model will be based on fossil fuels with small renewable component for the forseeable future*.As described in most projections.
That is not best practice in a carbon constrained world. Unfortunately the same can be said for most existing e grids.

Seems we will be choking and sweating a while longer as the transition from fossil fuels accelerates to primary source.

The roadmap suggests that will take three more decades with serious commitment and sytems available form ~2020 leading to total changeover within the following two decades.

That timeframe is still considered problematic from the climate perspective but doable from the engineering and economic perspective. Given the united voices of concern from our brightest and informed govt advisers, That scenario seems to have a good chance of accomplishment.

But politicians curious rationality - putting ideology in front of common sense, and business have a reputation for feathering their nests taking easy short term options double talk and appeasing the powerful lobbies.

I would suggest that acceptance there will be the hardest bit.

eci,

I suggest you take your self promotion of your "magazine" and leave. There is NO span here, so leave.

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