Toyota world’s leading automaker has been developing fuel-cell vehicles for more than two decades, but the technology has been eclipsed by the immense rise of chargeable electric vehicles promoted by the other brands such as Tesla.
Prior to the Tokyo Motor Show starting on Oct. 24, Toyota revealed a prototype of the new hydrogen sedan built on the same platform as it’s luxury Lexus brand’s LS coupe. The company stated that the new Mirai model boasts longer driving range than its predecessor and completely redesigned fuel cell stack and hydrogen tanks.
Its sporty redesign with a longer wheelbase and lower-slung chassis is a marked departure from the first-generation Mirai, which looks like a bulked-up Prius hybrid.
The new car also has a 30% improvement in driving range over the previous iteration’s approximately 700 kilometers (435 miles), according to the company.
Reuters reported that Costing consumers about 5 million yen ($46,500) after subsidies in Japan, the original Mirai is one of three fuel cell cars available to consumers. Hyundai Motor Co sells the Nexo, while Honda Motor Co Ltd leases out the Clarity.
According to Reuters, Toyota has sold fewer than 10,000 of the Mirai, a fuel cell sedan is touted as a game-changer at its launch five years ago. By contrast, Tesla sold 25,000 of battery-powered Model S sedans in its first year and a half.
However, Toyota declined to disclose a price for the model and said it would be available from late next year in Japan, North America, and Europe.