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For Mirai buyers, Toyota trucking in mobile hydrogen stations

Toyota dealerships will offer hydrogen stations for early adopters.

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With only a small number of hydrogen stations available to the public in California, Toyota will bring in mobile H2 pumps to dealerships.The exact number of open, working, public hydrogen refueling stations in California is something of an open question. The EPA says there are 10. The California Fuel Cell Partnership (CAFCP) says there are four. Whatever the actual number, it's not many, which is why Toyota is trucking temporary H2 stations to dealerships selling the new Mirai fuel cell car for early adopters.

According to Bloomberg, some Mirai buyers don't yet want to take delivery of their new cars because the refueling infrastructure is so lacking. The for-now solution is to bring in mobile stations made by Air Products & Chemicals Inc., which have the limitation that they can only provide a half-tank for the Mirai. That will give the cars around 150 miles of range. In an interview with Bloomberg, Doug Coleman, Toyota's marketing manager for fuel cell vehicles, said, "We felt like this was a sensible interim step to help supply hydrogen fuel to Mirai customers that are out there on the roads right now."

There are not many customers, at this point, but Toyota says that demand is high. The company only plans to sell around 1,000 of the $57,500 Mirais in the US market for the 2016 model year, with 3,000 planned by the end of 2017. Bloomberg says that demand in the US and Japan is so strong that if you were to place a new order in Japan right now, you might not get your car until 2019.

Last year, Toyota said it would work with FirstElement Fuel to build hydrogen stations. Other automakers selling hydrogen cars, like Honda, have made similar investments. The CAFCP says another 45 hydrogen stations are in development in California, so this trailer H2 situation should be over soon.

TRANSLOGIC 164: Toyota Mirai, Volkswagen Passat HyMotion, Audi A7 H-Tron

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