Toyota Motor Corp. said Thursday that production of the Mirai fuel cell vehicle will be more than quadrupled to 3,000 vehicles in 2017 to meet stronger-than-expected demand since the world’s first mass-market hydrogen car debuted in Japan last month.
Toyota, which hung onto its title as the world’s biggest automaker by volume for the third year straight in 2014, plans to build 2,000 Mirai sedans in 2016 — nearly triple this year’s planned output of 700.
Last week, Toyota said received about 1,500 orders for the fuel cell car in the first month after its launch on Dec. 15
That figure is nearly four times greater than Toyota’s sales target of 400 vehicles for the entire year in the domestic market.
The automaker will ramp up Mirai production ahead of the zero-emission car’s rollout in the United States and Europe this autumn.
A Toyota spokesman said the company will work out sales plans for 2016 and subsequent years by taking into account progress in each market’s hydrogen station network, energy policies, car-buying subsidies, regulations and other factors.
Fuel cell vehicles are seen as one of the most promising types of “green cars” because they run on electricity generated from a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, which produces no harmful exhaust.