Toyota Asks Congress to Support Hydrogen Refueling Infrastructure
It’s not long now until the Toyota Mirai’s release in the US, and the fuel-cell vehicle recently made its East Coast debut at the DC Auto Show. This debut not only allowed attendees to see it in person, but gave Toyota executives a chance to ask the new Congress to reinstate tax incentives that will encourage hydrogen companies to build refueling stations, which the East Coast needs in order for the Mirai and other fuel-cell vehicles to become successful.
Currently, hydrogen refueling infrastructure in the US is limited. Expansion is underway in California, which will be the Mirai’s first market, but more refueling stations are needed in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island before the Mirai’s release in these states later this year. “Consumers and the investment community need a clear signal that government is not choosing winners or losers in the zero emission vehicle race. These vehicles should be treated equally to allow the market to decide,” remarked Nihar Patel, VP of North American Business Strategy for Toyota.
Toyota has already partnered with hydrogen supplier Air Liquide to build 12 refueling stations across the five East Coast states in which the Mirai will be sold, but more will be needed in order to make the sedan a reality for many drivers. Although the Mirai has a range of up to 300 miles, drivers could still easily run out of fuel if they weren’t in close proximity to a refueling station.
Only time will tell as to whether or not the new Congress will be able to come to an agreement on hydrogen refueling infrastructure. But if and when they do, we’ll be sure to keep you posted!