Toyota has announced that it’s upcoming fuel cell vehicle will be called the Mirai and that it’s building a network of hydrogen stations in the US Northeast to support it. The $69,000 vehicle is due to arrive in the US in 2016. The Japanese automaker proclaimed that “the future has arrived,” which may make the thousands of people who’ve owned a Honda FCX Clarity FCV since 2005 gag. But despite being late to the game, Toyota is now making a huge bet on FCVs. It has teamed with Air Liquide to build 12 hydrogen stations in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
Looks like someone was able to read the future back in July. That’s when rumors first circulated that Toyota’s upcoming fuel cell vehicle will be called the Mirai. Today, Toyota president Akio Toyoda confirmed the name alongside plans to build out a hydrogen refueling infrastructure in the US Northeast. In Japanese, mirai (未来) means “future,” which is a fitting name for a car that Toyota believes represents the direction the auto industry will go in the coming years. In a promotional video announcing the name (available below), Toyoda said, “For [Toyota], this isn’t just another car. This is an opportunity – an opportunity to really make a difference. And making a difference is what Toyota is all about.” To help that future come into existence, Toyota CEO Jim Lentz also disclosed the vague outline of a fuel cell infrastructure investment that Toyota and partner Air Liquide will make in a five-state Northeastern corridor that consists of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. The Mirai will be available there in 2015 and Toyota is going to build 12 stations in and around New York and Boston to support the launch. More details will be available later. Toyota says the Mirai will be able to go “up to 300 miles” on a tank and refuel in less than five minutes. The automaker is also working with FirstElement to build 19 hydrogen stations in California.