Toyota wants the Mirai, its brand-new hydrogen car, to succeed soooo much, it’s giving people who purchase or lease the car some mighty fine perks. When the car becomes available in the U.S. in the fall of this year, this is what you’ll get:
1. Free fuel for three years
You heard right: Free. Gratis. The Mirai’s two hydrogen tanks can hold up to 5 kilograms of compressed fuel, giving the car a range of about 300 miles (by Toyota’s tests, though the company’s confident the EPA ratings will bear this out).
This should make early adopters feel better about finding a hydrogen station, as they’re still few and far between. The company will sell the vehicle only to people living within reasonable range of a hydrogen station. California has only 9 operating stations, with 29 more approved to be built. Toyota expects up to 35 stations to be built in California by the end of the year.
Building out hydrogen stations is an extremely expensive proposition. While a Level 2 EV charging station might cost $20,000 or so to build in the U.S., a hydrogen station currently costs between $1 million and $2 million to build. So the more the merrier, which is one reason Toyota’s giving away a passel of patents, including 70 for hydrogen production and supply.
2. Free rental program for one week per year
That 300-mile range is far better than what an electric vehicle can accomplish right now (save for the Tesla Model S), but that still doesn’t quite get you from, say, San Francisco to Los Angeles. That’s why Toyota will also offer a week’s free rental of an alternate vehicle so you won’t feel confined by Mirai ownership.
3. 24/7 concierge service
Who wouldn’t want this? Mirai owners will have three years’ worth of free access to all manner of travel and driving support. It will come via Toyota’s Entune program, which normally carries a subscription fee.
Bonus feature! The Mirai can power your house. No, really it can.
Check out this port in the trunk of the Mirai. You might recognize it as the CHAdeMO port used to charge some electric vehicles.
You cannot charge the Mirai, but you can use this port to take power from the car’s fuel cells. Toyota claims a fully fueled Mirai can power the typical Japanese residence for up to a week, while it might be able to power a frugally managed American home up to five days.
The other reason these perks will be nice is that the Mirai will not be cheap. It will have an MSRP of $57,500. The three-year lease will cost $499 with a down payment of $3,649. The Mirai comes with an 8-year, 100,000-mile warranty.
Is three years of free fuel enough to get you interested in the Mirai? How long do you think it’s going to take to build out the hydrogen infrastructure? Let us know in the comments.
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Melissa Riofrio spent her formative journalistic years reviewing some of the biggest iron at PCWorld--desktops, laptops, storage, printers--and she continued to focus on hardware testing during stints at Computer Currents and CNET. Currently, in addition to leading PCWorld’s content direction, she covers productivity laptops and Chromebooks.