In Japanese, mirai (未来) means "future," which is a fitting name for a car that Toyota believes represents the direction the auto industry will go in the coming years. In a promotional video announcing the name (available below), Toyoda said, "For [Toyota], this isn't just another car. This is an opportunity – an opportunity to really make a difference. And making a difference is what Toyota is all about."
To help that future come into existence, Toyota CEO Jim Lentz also disclosed the vague outline of a fuel cell infrastructure investment that Toyota and partner Air Liquide will make in a five-state Northeastern corridor that consists of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. The Mirai will be available there in 2015 and Toyota is going to build 12 stations in and around New York and Boston to support the launch. More details will be available later.
Toyota says the Mirai will be able to go "up to 300 miles" on a tank and refuel in less than five minutes. The automaker is also working with FirstElement to build 19 hydrogen stations in California.
President Akio Toyoda announces name of fuel cell sedan in web video
CEO Jim Lentz announces expansion of Toyota fuel cell infrastructure investment to five-state Northeastern corridor
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., (Nov. 16, 2014) – Akio Toyoda has seen the future, and it's called "Mirai." That's the name of Toyota's new fuel cell vehicle, which the company's president announced in a video released the night before the car's official launch.
Mirai, which means "future" in Japanese, represents a turning point for the automotive industry. The groundbreaking vehicle can travel up to 300 miles on a single tank of hydrogen, refuel in less than five minutes and emits only water vapor.
Expanded Support for New Hydrogen Stations
Of course, the car of the future won't become a reality without the hydrogen stations to support it. That's why Toyota North America chief executive officer (CEO) Jim Lentz announced a new commitment to drive the development of a hydrogen refueling infrastructure in five northeastern U.S. states.
To support Mirai's introduction to the region in 2016, Toyota is collaborating with Air Liquide to develop and supply a phased network of 12 state-of-the-art hydrogen stations targeted for New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. The states and locations have been strategically selected in the greater New York and Boston areas to provide the backbone of a hydrogen highway for the Northeast corridor. Specific details of the collaboration will be revealed in the coming months.
"Toyota's vision of a hydrogen society is not just about building a great car, but ensuring accessible, reliable and convenient refueling for our customers," said Jim Lentz. "I am happy to announce that this vision will expand beyond the borders of California and give customers the opportunity to join the fuel cell movement."
This new announcement builds on Toyota's previous support for hydrogen infrastructure development in California. In May 2014, Toyota announced a $7.3 million loan to FirstElement Fuels to support the operations and maintenance of 19 hydrogen fueling stations across the state. The commitment augments funding provided by the California Energy Commission, and makes Toyota the only OEM to provide working capital for infrastructure development.
TRANSCRIPT OF AKIO TOYODA'S ANNOUNCEMENT VIDEO
Today, we are at a turning point in automotive history.
A turning point where people will embrace a new, environmentally-friendly car that is a pleasure to drive.
A turning point where a four-door sedan can travel 300 miles on a single tank of hydrogen, can be refueled in under five minutes and emit only water vapor.
A turning point that represents many years and countless hours of work by our team to create a car that redefines the industry.
All of us at Toyota believe in a future that will be safer, greener and easier for everyone.
We imagined a world filled with vehicles that would diminish our dependence on oil and reduce harm to the environment.
It was a bold, but inspiring goal. And, today it is a reality.
Our fuel cell vehicle runs on hydrogen that can be made from virtually anything, even garbage!
It has a fuel cell that creates enough electricity to power a house for about a week.
This is a car that lets you have it all with no compromises.
As a test driver, I knew this new fuel cell vehicle had to be truly fun to drive – and believe me, it is. It has a low center of gravity, which gives it very dynamic handling.
After surviving millions of miles on the test track and 10 years of testing on public roads in freezing cold and scorching heat...
After passing extensive crash tests...
And after working with local governments and researchers around the world to help make sure it is easy and convenient to refuel...
We are ready to deliver. The name we've given to our new car is Mirai, which in Japanese means "future."
We believe that behind the wheel of the Mirai, we can go places we have never been, to a world that is better, in a car that is better.
For us, this isn't just another car. This is an opportunity – an opportunity to really make a difference. And making a difference is what Toyota is all about.
The future has arrived. And it's called Mirai.