Toyota promises second-gen Mirai despite dismal sales
The company won't give up on its hydrogen bet.
Toyota apparently believes the Mirai is worthy of keeping around for a second generation.
Company chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada announced plans for a redesigned model at a Tokyo event dedicated to hydrogen energy, according to Automotive News Europe.
The Mirai isn't exactly a hot item, with 2018 full-year sales of just 1,700 units and another 1,187 deliveries in the first eight months of 2019.
The hydrogen fuel-cell car's $58,500 price tag is presumably a factor that has stymied sales, though Toyota believes FCEVs will reach price parity with gasoline-electric hybrids as the powertrain technology enters its third generation.
It is unclear if a budget price will make much of a difference if there is not a significant jump in refueling infrastructure. Hydrogen stations are extremely expensive to build compared to EV charging sites. Existing locations also appear to be prone to service interruptions, forcing owners to drive even farther out of their way to fill the high-pressure tanks.
Despite the obvious issues that make hydrogen an unlikely rival to either internal-combustion or pure-electric powertrains, Toyota and a few other automakers are still sinking development resources into the technology on the belief that the market will change in the next decade.