Toyota’s new fuel cell model to debut in 2020 with 30% longer range

NAGOYA, Kyodo - Toyota Motor Corp. said Friday it will roll out a new Mirai fuel cell model by the end of next year, with a sporty body and a 30 percent extended driving range.

Japan’s largest automaker hopes the redesigned model will help boost global sales of hydrogen-powered vehicles to 30,000 a year sometime after 2020.

The automaker builds the Mirai -- the world’s first mass-produced fuel cell car introduced in 2014 -- at a pace of around 3,000 a year at present.

The revamped four-door sports sedan, to be unveiled at the Tokyo auto show that will open Oct. 24, will be launched in Japan, North America and Europe.

The new Mirai has a body 8.5 centimeters longer and 6.5 centimeters lower, and the price has yet to be disclosed.

The current version has a driving range of 650 kilometers and a price of 7.4 million yen ($69,000) in Japan.

Fuel-cell vehicles are seen as one of the most promising green cars as they run on electricity generated from a chemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen and emit only water.

But their relatively high prices and the lack of hydrogen stations have prevented the vehicles from reaching a mass market.

“I hope this vehicle will help realize a hydrogen-energized society,” said Yoshikazu Tanaka, the Mirai’s chief engineer.(Kyodo)

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