Japanese auto major Toyota said on Tuesday that its "Mirai" hydrogen-powered vehicle will hit the Japanese market on December 15, making it the world's first seller of fuel-cell vehicles (FCVs) for general consumers.
Mirai, which means "future" in English, will be sold at around 7,236,000 yen (about $62,000), Xinhua cited the automaker as saying, adding that it aims to sell about 400 units domestically by the end of 2015. It also plans to usher the green car into US and European markets next summer.
The new generation green car can drive up to 650 km on a single tank of hydrogen and emits only water vapour, according to Toyota, adding refueling only needs about three minutes.
The four-door sedan uses a system that features both fuel-cell and hybrid technologies, and also includes Toyota's new proprietary fuel-cell stack and high-pressure hydrogen tanks, the automaker said.
Toyota's president and CEO, Akio Toyoda, was quoted as saying in a video message Monday ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show that Mirai was a chance for Toyota to make a fundamental difference in the auto industry.
The paradigm shift by bringing FCVs into the mainstream has been equated with the 1997 launch of its then game-changing Prius hybrid by some industry experts.
"The four-door sedan represents a turning point for the automotive industry," said the CEO.
"All of us at Toyota believe in a future that will be safer, greener and easier for everyone," Toyoda added.
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