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Spotted: a Toyota Mirai

June 28, 2024

Hydrogen for passenger cars remains a tricky story. The theory is appealing: you drive all-electric, refuel in a few minutes like you’re used to, and drive all-electric again. But then the practice: where do you refuel? That fueling also costs at least as much per mile driven as driving on gasoline. And although you can be emission-free on the road with a hydrogen car, producing hydrogen takes quite a bit of energy for now (although there are interesting developments in that area). No, for now hydrogen is mainly something for large vehicles that are difficult to make battery-electric. That does not make hydrogen-electric passenger cars any less interesting.

A blue Toyota Mirai, parked on a paved sidewalk in front of a modern building with a facade of glass and orange brick, was recently named Spotted, reinforcing the SEO-friendly appeal of this sleek, eco-friendly vehicle.

A blue Toyota Mirai hybrid car is parked on an open gravel surface under a partly cloudy sky. The car, spotted and admired for its sleek design, is shown in the rear right.

Toyota Mirai improved in all aspects

Toyota is one of the few brands that do see something in hydrogen for passenger cars. That started back in 2014 with the first Toyota Mirai. In late 2020, it was time for the second chapter: an all-new Toyota Mirai. The car took a step forward in just about every area. On the technical front, the range on a full tank increased, the interior improved in both space and finish, and – although subjective – the car started to look really good.

A blue Toyota Mirai sedan is parked on a gravel surface, with wind turbines and a cloudy sky in the background. The car, bearing Belgian license plates, looks strikingly picturesque: a true gem Spotted in such serene surroundings.

A blue Toyota Mirai is parked near a body of water under a large bridge. The ground is wet, indicating recent rainfall, and trees are visible in the background. Spotted!

The Toyota Mirai in the Netherlands

In addition to the aforementioned limitations of hydrogen driving in general, hydrogen cars are also pricey to purchase. The first Toyota Mirai cost about 80,000 euros. Despite its many improvements, the second generation was available from around 70,000 euros (at the time of writing: 71,995 euros), but that’s still a lot of money. As a result, the Toyota Mirai has always remained rare. There are currently exactly 333 units on Dutch registration plates, from both model generations combined. For an upper-middle class sedan, that’s not much.

The spotted specimen

In Utrecht, we saw this 2021 Toyota Mirai. So you don’t see the Mirai often in traffic anyway, but certainly not often in red. Both is a shame, because this second-generation Toyota Mirai is a very nice car as far as we are concerned, and this color looks very good on it, too. Still, it will remain relatively rare for now, as the breakthrough of hydrogen for passenger cars is still some time away, if ever….

A red Toyota Mirai sedan, spotted on a street near a sidewalk with buildings, cyclists and pedestrians in the background.

A red Toyota Mirai is spotted on the side of a street with other vehicles nearby.