Toyota Reveals Mirai Fuel-Cell Car Assembly Line

Feb 24, 2015 12:11 PM EST | Matt Mercuro


Toyota President Akio Toyoda revealed the assembly line that will make the first mass market fuel-cell vehicle.

Production of the of the four-door Mirai sedan is scheduled to take place at the automaker's Motomachi Plant in Aichi, central Japan, according to a Toyota release. This is the same facility that Toyota built the Lexus LFA supercar.

A team of 13 workers will assemble three cars per day manually without use of conveyors found in its mass-production plants, Mitsuyuki Suenaga, an assistant manager at the Motomachi plant, said according to Bloomberg.

Workers will pump helium gas through the pipes that connect the vehicle to Mirai's hydrogen tanks to the fuel-cell stank to make sure there are no leaks.

The Mirai is powered by hydrogen and emits nothing but water vapor from its tailpipe.

The Japanese automaker will manufacture 700 units of the Mirai sedan by the end of December, according to the release.

Production of the vehicle, whose name means "future" in Japanese, will expand to 2,000 units next year and 3,000 units in 2017.

"We made a conscious decision" on the timing of the event, Toyoda said, according to Bloomberg. "I want us to think of this as the day when we took the first step toward the realization of a hydrogen-based society."

The vehicle will sell for 7.24 million yen in Japan.

In an odd turn of events, Toyota announced last month that it will make 5,680 hydrogen fuel cell-related patents available to the rest of the industry, royalty free. The company has yet to say how many automakers are expected to take Toyota up on its offer.

"To achieve a hydrogen-based society, it's not something that one automobile company can do," Toyoda said. "We need to have a lot of participation from multiple companies."

For the year ending in March, Toyota has forecast a record 2.13 trillion yen ($17.9 billion) profit. 

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