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Toyota Wants Mirai Fuel-Cell Car to Become Next Prius

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Toyota Mirai fuel-cell car

The Toyota Mirai fuel-cell car

Yesterday, we confirmed that the upcoming Toyota hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle would be named Mirai, which means “future” in Japanese. Today, we’re still pumped for the release of the alternative fuel vehicle, and, it appears, so is the internet as a whole. When searching Google News for “Toyota,” the entire first page of results is covered with different stories about the Mirai fuel-cell car. From the headlines alone, it seems that Toyota is hoping the Mirai will become the next Prius—a vehicle which has seen incredible success for the Japanese automaker.

The Toyota Prius was released in the US back in 2000, at a time when the roads were packed with gasoline cars and most people didn’t even know what a hybrid vehicle was. Fourteen years later, the Prius has expanded its lineup to include a wagon, a city car, a plug-in hybrid, and the original Prius, and is commonly seen on the roads. Toyota is so confident that its hydrogen fuel-cell technology will catch on in a big way that Akio Toyoda, President and CEO of the Japanese automaker, called it “a turning point in automotive history,” and Toyota Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada mentioned that the company expects sales to reach “tens of thousands” by the 2020s.

For now, Toyota will aim to sell 700 Mirai fuel-cell cars worldwide. Here in the US, the Mirai will cost $57,500 (which should drop to around $45,000 once federal and state tax credits are taken into account). Alternatively, drivers will be able to lease the Mirai for $499 per month on a 36-month lease with $3,649 due at signing. Additionally, Toyota is offering free hydrogen fuel for up to three years, meaning that owners will end up saving big on their weekly gas bills.

The Toyota Mirai fuel-cell car is expected to launch in California in summer 2015, and in some Northeastern states by 2016. Until then, stay tuned for more news on Toyota’s latest great invention!