Toyota Motor Corp. said Thursday that it will more than quadruple annual production of its Mirai fuel-cell model to 3,000 vehicles in 2017 from the level planned for this year due to stronger-than-expected orders since it debuted on the domestic market in December.
Toyota, which retained the crown as the world’s biggest automaker by volume for the third straight year in 2014, plans to build 2,000 Mirai sedans in 2016, nearly triple this year’s planned output of 700.
Last week Toyota said it sold about 1,500 of the fuel-cell cars in Japan during the first month since the Dec. 15 launch of the world’s first hydrogen-powered vehicle for the mass market.
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 production of the Mirai as it will roll out the zero-emission car in the United States and Europe this coming autumn.
A Toyota spokesman said that the company will work out sales plans for 2016 and following 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 future green cars.