Toyota launches low-volume assembly line for green fuel-cell car


Toyota President Akio Toyoda has unveiled an assembly line that will be making the first mass market fuel-cell car, Industry Week has reported.

Image credit: Flickr User: Neubie
Image credit: Flickr User: Neubie

The Japanese carmaker said that it plans to roll out 700 units of the four-door Mirai sedan by the end of December and expand production to 2,000 units by 2016 and 3,000 units by 2017.

The Mirai sedan – whose name means “future” in Japanese – is powered by a chemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen and releases nothing but water vapour from its tailpipe.

Manufactured at the company’s Motomachi Plant in Aichi, central Japan, the car can travel about 400 miles without refuelling – approximately three times further than an electric car – and its tank can be filled in a few minutes like gasoline engine vehicles.

“We are thrilled to think that before everyone else, we are taking a historic step toward the establishment of a hydrogen society in Japan,” Toyoda told reporters last month.

Japanese carmakers, including Toyota’s big rivals Honda and Nissan, are spearheading the research for developing the green car sector. According to reports from Japan, its seven major carmakers have allocated $24 billion to research the sector this year.