- Title: Toyota unveils revamped hydrogen sedan to take on Tesla
- Date: 11th October 2019
- Summary: TOKYO, JAPAN (OCTOBER 10, 2019) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** TOYOTA'S HYDROGEN-POWERED FUEL CELL SEDAN "MIRAI CONCEPT" BEING UNVEILED
- Embargoed: 25th October 2019 06:29
- Keywords: Toyota Mirai hydrogen car tokyo Japan
- Location: TOKYO, JAPAN
- City: TOKYO, JAPAN
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Company News Markets,Economic Events
- Reuters ID: LVA001B0NI81Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Toyota Motor Corp unveiled a completely redesigned hydrogen-powered fuel cell sedan on Friday (October 11) in its latest attempt to revive demand for the niche technology that it hopes will become mainstream.
Japan's biggest automaker has been developing fuel-cell vehicles for more than two decades, but the technology has been eclipsed by the rapid rise of rival battery-powered electric vehicles promoted by the likes of Tesla Inc.
Ahead of the Tokyo Motor Show starting on October 24, Toyota unveiled a prototype of the new hydrogen sedan built on the same platform as its luxury Lexus brand's LS coupe. The new Mirai model boasts longer driving range than its predecessor and completely redesigned fuel cell stack and hydrogen tanks, the company said.
"As you know, hydrogen does not emit carbon dioxide, and it has strong potential to support low carbon society," Yoshikazu Tanaka, chief engineer of the new Mirai, said at the unveiling.
Its sporty redesign with longer wheelbase and lower-slung chassis is a marked departure from the first-generation Mirai, which looks like a bulked-up Prius hybrid.
The new car also has a 30% improvement in driving range over the previous iteration's approximately 700 kilometres (435 miles), according to the company.
Tanaka said the latest Mirai would cost less to make than its predecessor, because of a shift to mass production. The current model is mostly assembled by hand.
Costing consumers about 5 million yen ($46,500) after subsidies in Japan, the original Mirai is one of three fuel cell cars available to consumers. Hyundai Motor Co sells the Nexo, while Honda Motor Co Ltd leases out the Clarity.
Toyota has sold fewer than 10,000 of the Mirai, a fuel cell sedan it touted as a game changer at its launch five years ago. By contrast, Tesla sold 25,000 of battery-powered Model S sedans in its first year and a half.
Toyota declined to disclose a price for the model and said it would be available from late next year in Japan, North America and Europe.
(Production: Yasuteru Ueda, Hideto Sakai, Akiko Okamoto)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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