EV fanboys are laughing at the news of Toyota cranking up production of the Mirai and future fuel-cell vehicles. InsideEVs gleefully pointed out that right now about 3,000 fuel cells are sold annually, while Toyota is expecting to sell over 30,000 each year starting in the 2020s.
That’s a bit ironic, considering we could go back to 2008 and see how many EVs were sold worldwide, comparing that to 2017. That’s why there’s a saying about people in glass houses.
Anyway, Toyota has unveiled plans for two new fuel cell factories in Japan. They don’t make the vehicles there, but instead produce the fuel-cell stacks and the high-pressure hydrogen tanks. By making more fuel cells and tanks, Toyota believes it will build an economy of scale that will make fuel-cell vehicles more affordable and in turn more popular.
With this kind of ramp-up, Toyota must feel confident in how the Mirai is performing. It no doubt has plans for more fuel-cell models, whether they’re derivatives of its popular vehicles or are completely new creations.
The big question is what will Toyota do about the lack of hydrogen infrastructure in markets outside of Japan? It would be foolish if the company isn’t working on a solution to that problem as well, but we’ll see.