Toyota has confirmed it will bring its second-generation Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) Down Under but will only be made available to business and government fleet customers.
Limited to just 20 units, the first examples of the new Mirai to Australian in the first quarter next year to coincide with the start of construction of a solar-powered hydrogen production site and refuelling station in the Melbourne suburb of Altona.
While the first-generation Mirai also arrived in Australia in 2016 to tour the country as a means of drumming up interest in FCEV technology, it is understood the fleet of new cars will be stationary at certain locations around the country.
The second-generation Mirai, which is still in concept form and set for a production debut later this month, retains the sedan body style as its forbear, but switches to sleeker sheet metal and a rear-drive layout.
The new packaging has allowed Toyota to fit an additional hydrogen tank for three in total, while seating capacity increases from four to five.
Exact drivetrain details are yet to be confirmed, but the first-gen car could travel around 500 kilometres with a full tank of hydrogen, and the new Mirai is expected to boost this range by about 30 per cent.
Inside, the new Mirai is fitted with a more modern interior inline with Toyota’s current aesthetic and includes high-tech features such as 12.3-inch multimedia screen and digital instrumentation.
Toyota Australia vice-president of sales and marketing Sean Hanley said the new Mirai will bring the local market one step closer to adopting FCEV technology.
“The best way to demonstrate the long-term viability and environmental benefits of hydrogen-powered fuel-cell electric vehicles is to supply cars to local industries and governments that share our vision of a zero-emission future,” he said.
“All-new Mirai brings together Toyota’s unrivalled experience with electrified vehicles and our integrated approach to an electric future.”
However, Toyota isn’t the only brand pushing for hydrogen tech though, as Hyundai’s fleet of 20 Nexo SUVs landed Down Under in June this year ahead of their deliveries to the ACT government, which is opening Australia’s first hydrogen public refuelling station.
Further stations are planned around the country, including Melbourne and Brisbane, while Hyundai has built its own refuelling station at its headquarters in Sydney.
Toyota, on the other hand, has developed its own mobile refuelling station.