Kurt Verlin
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2022 Toyota Mirai Comes With $15,000 of Free Hydrogen

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Warning: This article contains maths

2022 Toyota Mirai XLE in Supersonic Red (parked, sunset)
Photo: Toyota

It seems that every year, Toyota makes the Mirai an even greater value proposition. When it launched the second-generation 2021 model, it cut the MSRP down from $58,550 to $49,500 despite making significant improvements to the car. To sweeten the deal even further, the 2022 model also comes with $15,000 of free hydrogen fuel.

Emitting nothing but water, the 2022 Mirai is a rear-wheel drive fuel-cell electric vehicle with an EPA-estimated, zero-emission range of 402 miles. That’s almost 30 percent better than the first-generation model that the latest Mirai undercuts by nearly $10,000.

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By using fuel-saving driving techniques, you can go even further than 402 miles on a single tank of hydrogen. In May 2021, an independent group managed to eke 623 miles out of the car on French roads, and later in the year, the Mirai set a new Guinness World Record after traveling 845 miles without refueling.

Hydrogen, however, is a lot more expensive than gasoline. It costs about $14 per kilogram in California, the only place in the U.S. where you’re likely to find a refueling station. That means it costs $78 just to top off the Mirai’s 5.6-kg tank. If you go by the EPA’s 402-miles range estimate, the Mirai therefore costs about 19.5 cents to drive per mile.

A gasoline-powered vehicle would need to average about 24 miles per gallon to beat that, based on current gas prices in California. Most modern sedans, wagons, and car-based SUVs already do, while truck-based SUVs and minivans are about on par. Pickup trucks, on the other hand, only average about 19.2 miles per gallon based on the most recent available data.

2022 Toyota Mirai Limited in Hydro Blue (cockpit)
Photo: Toyota

But the price of hydrogen is expected to go down as the refueling infrastructure expands. And of course, there’s that $15,000 of free hydrogen. In theory, that would enable you to drive nearly 77,000 miles behind the wheel of the Mirai before needing to pay a penny for hydrogen fuel. However, if the incentive is identical to those previously offered by Toyota, Mirai buyers will have just three years to do so before the benefit expires.

Because the average American driver covers about 14,300 miles per year (or nearly 43,000 miles over three years), they’ll have used approximately $8,400 of that free hydrogen fuel before the incentive runs out. Still, that’s not bad, and if you deduct that amount from the MSRP, it make the Mirai one of the most affordable zero-emission long-range vehicles you can buy today — not to mention it feels more Lexus than Toyota.