California is the cradle of hydrogen vehicles in the U.S. If fuel cell vehicles spread from there the way sourdough bread and normalized weed have made their way across the country, we should pay attention to what's happening in the Golden State. One highlight worth noting is that Toyota has sold 3,000 units of its Mirai fuel cell sedan in California, the automaker announced.

For a normal vehicle, 3,000 isn't an impressive number. Consider, though, that there are only 31 hydrogen fueling stations at which to fill them up in the state, and that they're located primarily around Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. That helps put the sales into perspective. Perhaps more interestingly, Toyota claims that the Mirai makes up 80 percent of all fuel cell vehicles on the road in the U.S.

That might not be the case for long, though. Other automakers are slowly ratcheting up their hydrogen vehicle programs to gauge their reception primarily in — you guessed it — California. There, Honda is selling its Clarity Fuel Cell, and Hyundai is preparing to launch its second generation of hydrogen-powered SUV with the 2019 Nexo. That's not necessarily a bad thing for Toyota, though, because (as with battery electric vehicles) a rising tide stands to raise all the ships here. If these other FCEVs catch on, that will only generate more interest for the Mirai, or any other hydrogen car Toyota or other automakers build.

For now, Toyota is celebrating its small hydrogen victory. "Toyota remains at the forefront of developing and deploying hydrogen fuel cell technology, and we believe strongly in its potential to help realize a more sustainable and zero-emissions society," said Toyota North America Executive VP Bob Carter. "From our success in launching the Mirai to our work in building the world's first megawatt-scale carbonate fuel cell power generation plant, Toyota is proud to bring to market new uses for this versatile technology."

The Toyota Mirai has a driving range of about 312 miles on one tank of hydrogen, and a combined fuel economy of 67 mpge. Customers currently get three years of complimentary fuel included in the Mirai's $58,365 base MSRP (before generous incentives worth about $12,500). California's hydrogen fueling network continues to expand, with 12 more stations expected in 2018. The East Coast's hydrogen network is also growing.

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