Demand for hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai already outstrips production
Toyota has had to increase production of its hydrogen-powered Mirai in order to keep up with demand. The company says 700 units will be built this year, but this will be increased to 2,000 in 2016 and around 3,000 in 2017. The world’s first wide-scale production hydrogen powered car when on sale in Japan on 15th December, with sales to the US, UK and other selected European markets following towards the end of this year.
The company says that in its first month on sale in Japan, it has received 1,500 orders – double the total number of units that it forecast to sell in the whole of the year. Part of the already scheduled production has been earmarked for other markets during 2015, so the Japanese demand is actually at four times the anticipated allocation for this year, presenting Toyota’s bosses with something of a dilemma. Whilst Toyota’s expectations for the sale of the Mirai were understandably conservative, clearly the company has been astonished by the actual rate of take-up.
As a result of the increase in production, the Japanese company has said that it will need to reformulate its sales plans for Japan, the US and Europe. These plans will need to take into consideration the levels of hydrogen infrastructure development, energy policies, car purchasing subsidies, likely and actual consumer demand, environmental regulations and other factors in each of the markets it intends to make the car available.
Clearly, this means that those in Japan who were hoping to be early adopters of the technology will have to wait longer in order to take delivery of their vehicles. If production rates are outstripped again when the Mirai goes on sale in the US and parts of Europe, the company may need to look at upping production again.