With more than 1,500 orders for its Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car already in hand, Toyota has decided to increase production in 2017 to keep ahead of demand. The Mirai does not go on sale in the US and Europe until later in 2015.
Part of that early demand is the result of extraordinary incentives offered by the Japanese government, which gives buyers a tax credit of $17,000. On top of that, the City of Tokyo is adding another $8,500 incentive to help get as many of the hydrogen powered cars on the road as possible in time for the 2020 Olympics.
Toyota had planned on building 700 Mirais in 2015, and 2000 more in both 2016 and 2017, but the 2017 plans have been increased to 3000 cars instead. The company is spending $170,000,000 to make the increased production possible.
Toyota has already announced pricing for the Mirai when it goes on sale in California. It will start at $57,500 or lease for $499 per month with $3,649 due at signing. Of course, hydrogen fuel will be free for at least the first three years, primarily because most hydrogen refueling stations are not accurate enough to allow retailers to charge for the fuel. Newer retail facilities will solve that issue, but so far, only one such station is in operation and is located in Los Angeles.