Reports from Japan suggest Toyota might build a smaller, cheaper version of its Mirai hydrogen-fuel-cell car as soon as 2019, to be showcased at the 2020 summer Olympic games in Tokyo. Japan newspaper Asahi Shimbun reports the new Mirai would be priced about 20 percent below the existing four-seat Mirai sedan, a strategy that Toyota used to promote the smaller Prius C hybrid as an option to the larger Prius liftback model. Toyota thinks it could sell 30,000 or more hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles a year by 2020, provided fueling infrastructure expands accordingly. Initial Mirai sales in Japan, Europe and North America have been modest to date due says Toyota to a lack of hydrogen refueling infrastructure. Hydrogen cars use the gas to create electricity to propel the vehicle. The only tailpipe emission is clean water.


A lack of hydrogen refilling stations is a problem for sales of such vehicles whether big or small. (PHOTO: TOYOTA)

Toyota imagines a smaller Mirai: