Toyota confirmed the development of the Mirai's second generation, but was not going deep on other details.
Toyota believes the future is not just electric, and there is room for cell-powered cars with hydrogen fuel. Underlining the commitment is news that the Japanese automaker is working hard on a fuel-cell vehicle of the second generation Toyota Mirai.
Reuters first reported on the development on Wednesday following comments by Toyota Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada at a Tokyo hydrogen energy ministerial meeting. With Roadshow, the automaker confirmed the development of a second-generation Mirai, but refused to include additional details.
Toyota was on the scene for the first time in 2014 with a mass-market cell-powered vehicle producing petrol. Sales stay limited to California and Hawaii, and only if they work or reside close enough to a refueling station can those interested apply. If you believe the charging infrastructure for electric cars is still scattered, there are even fewer and far fewer refueling stations in between.
There are a few dozen hydrogen stations in California, while in Hawaii, according to Toyota's map, a single station offers fuel for Mirai owners. Even then, there are problems with supply. Recently, in a hydrogen production facility, California drivers were left with few refueling alternatives after an explosion. Toyota, Honda and Hyundai, each offering fuel-cell cars in the country, recognized the brief supply and provided customers substitute cars.
Toyota informed Roadshow that it is still committed to launching the Mirai in other parts of the U.S., particularly the Northeast, where it is building a refueling infrastructure for hydrogen.
When the Mirai premiered, some questioned its design, which looked over-styled unnecessarily. The design of Toyota has only become more ostentatious since the Mirai debuted, so it's hard to determine whether Mirai's second generation will maintain its present design ethos or whether Toyota will offer an even more radical design to the hydrogen-powered runabout. We will know soon.
(Cover photo by The Truths About Cars)