Siliconeer co-publisher Seema Gupta poses next to the 2017 Toyota Mirai at a press event in Los Angeles, March 17. (Amar D. Gupta/Siliconeer)

The 2017 Toyota Mirai is all set to be a part of automotive history. Siliconeer attended an exclusive event in Los Angeles, organized by Toyota and Rezonate Media, to experience the all new 2017 Toyota Mirai. Winding our way through the replica displays of the hydrogen tanks, engine, drivetrain and the Mirai shining in all its glory, we reached the back of the warehouse-turned exhibition hall where celebrity chef Mei Lin (www.meihlin.com) had laid a fantastic display of exotic eats. We quickly filled up and headed for the test drive. – #ToyotaMirai @Toyota #Siliconeer @Siliconeer #hydrogenfuelcellvehicle @ToyotaMirai #2017ToyotaMirai #California #Environment #RezonateMedia @RezonateMedia #Rezonate @Rezonate


It wasn’t too long ago, (see Siliconeer | Dec. 2014 ) when in an area dominated with green electric cars, we were first introduced to the Mirai hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle, that combines hydrogen and oxygen to make electricity onboard, while emitting nothing but water vapor. Sounded like science fiction at the time, but now it is for real!

Rear view of the 2017 Toyota Mirai. (Amar D. Gupta/Siliconeer)

The Mirai, a hydrogen fuel cell-powered next generation automobile, is a zero emission vehicle with an EPA estimated driving range of 312 miles, and refuels in around five minutes, according to Toyota. While the price remains $57,500 plus $865 destination fee, Mirai customers may also qualify for an $8,000 federal tax credit and $5,000 potential California rebate along with access to the coveted California HOV carpool lane.

Jana Hartline, Environmental communications manager, poses next to the 2017 Toyota Mirai at a press event in Los Angeles, March 17. (Amar D. Gupta/Siliconeer)

Toyota has sweetened the deal a bit more. To recognize Mirai drivers leading the way, qualified customers will be eligible for the Mirai trailblazer support program. The trailblazer program enhances the purchase and ownership experience with lucrative offers such as the Trailblazer Lease – $349 per month for 36 months, $2,499 due at signing, with 12,000/year mileage allowance.

The Mirai can also be purchased with a special Trailblazer APR Support of 0% for 60 months or 1.9% for 72 months and Trailblazer Purchase Support of $7,500. For full details and exclusions, please visit a Toyota Mirai dealer.

2017 Toyota Mirai Test Drive:

Interior dash view of the 2017 Toyota Mirai. (Toyota Motor Corp)

The Mirai is a four-passenger vehicle with a long list of tech features. Seats are comfortable, with good head and legroom for all four, with a clear view of the roads ahead and on the sides. As with other electric vehicles, the vehicle has virtually no noise except for the occasional whine of the electric motors when we tried to accelerate.

Interior view of the 2017 Toyota Mirai. (Toyota Motor Corp)

Acceleration is acceptable, but don’t expect it to race like a sports sedan. It is fast enough to get you in and out of a tight maneuver or when you are getting off or on a freeway, or when you need to quickly pass that driver in front of you, fussing with their cell phones. The ride is fairly smooth and if you are a car geek, there are plenty of virtual buttons to play around with, on the touch-enabled display and center controls on the dash.

A Toyota communications expert proudly explains the Hydrogen fuel cell technology the powers the 2017 Toyota Mirai at a press event in Los Angeles, March 17. (Amar D. Gupta/Siliconeer)

With a rear-view camera, Bluetooth, Navigation, JBL Entune sound system, leatherette or leather seats, auto-everything from door locks to air-conditioning, there is barely anything not to love about the Mirai.

The only drawbacks were the seating for four instead of five, or the trunk which felt a bit small. One of the valets mentioned it was actually good, “No room for mother-in-law,” he exclaimed.

The new model year brings with it a new color option – Atmospheric Blue – to complement the existing Celestial Black, Elemental Silver and Nautical Blue Mirai color choices.

Toyota communications experts proudly pose with a replica of the Hydrogen fueling station at a press event in Los Angeles, March 17. (Amar D. Gupta/Siliconeer)

The Mirai comprehensive ownership experience boasts a range of world class services, such as – three years’ worth of complimentary fuel, where owners will receive a $15,000 prepaid fuel card that should last them for three years worth of fuel. There is also three years complimentary Safety Connect and Entune, including hydrogen station finder app and three years of 24/7 customer call support.

Additional benefits also include Mirai Complimentary Rental Experience for seven days per year for three years.

ToyotaCare, the standard no cost service plan and roadside assistance, is enhanced for Mirai and includes no cost scheduled maintenance for three years, or 35,000 miles, whichever comes first. No cost enhanced roadside assistance for three years, regardless of mileage, including expedited towing service and trip interruption reimbursement at a maximum of $500 per day for up to 5 days per incident. 8-year/100,000-mile warranty on key fuel cell vehicle components including the FC stack and power control unit; FC hydrogen tanks; hybrid battery pack and ECU; FC air compressor, boost converter and ECU; hybrid control module (power management control module); and hydrogen fueling ECU. For a complete list, California readers can visit Toyota Mirai information site at www.toyota.com/mirai.

A flowchart explaining the Hydrogen fuel cell technology. (Toyota Motor Corp)

Production of the Mirai is limited and vehicles will be placed with select, eligible customers. After placing a request, potential Mirai drivers are contacted directly by a Toyota representative to discuss ownership and next steps.

Mirai customers take delivery from one of the eight authorized California dealers of their choosing. In Southern California, Longo Toyota, Toyota of Orange, Toyota of Santa Monica or Tustin Toyota can serve Mirai trailblazers. Customers in Northern California can visit Roseville Toyota, San Francisco Toyota, Stevens Creek Toyota or Toyota Sunnyvale.

Toyota and Shell One Step Closer to a Hydrogen Refueling Network in California

According to a Toyota release, the California Energy Commission posted a Notice of Proposed Award, Feb. 17, outlining subsidies to support hydrogen refueling infrastructure in California. Shell, in partnership with Toyota, will be considered for the installation of hydrogen refueling equipment into seven retail stations in the state of California and an award of $16,362,500 to develop those stations.

Mirai Manager at Toyota, Rommel Momen talks to Siliconeer co-publisher Seema Gupta about the Toyota Mirai project, in Los Angeles, March 17. (Amar D. Gupta/Siliconeer)

The NOPA marks an important step forward in California’s aspiration for broader deployment of low-carbon fuels and vehicle technologies, via its CECs Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program.

Automotive Career Marketing Professional at Toyota, Mark McClung talks to Siliconeer co-publisher Seema Gupta about the Toyota Mirai project, in Los Angeles, March 17. (Amar D. Gupta/Siliconeer)

“Providing accessible, reliable and convenient refueling is key to mainstream adoption of fuel cell vehicles,” said Craig Scott, advanced technology vehicle senior manager, Toyota Motor North America. “Shell’s partnership will bring the expertise and resources of a major energy company to hydrogen infrastructure efforts in California. The team of Toyota and Shell will bring us one step closer to a hydrogen society.”

Celebrity chef Mei Lin served her creations for the attendees at the Toyota Mirai event in Los Angeles, March 17. (Amar D. Gupta/Siliconeer)

“Hydrogen electric vehicles could play an important role in improving air quality while offering convenience to motorists,” stated Oliver Bishop, Hydrogen General Manager, Shell. “This kind of collaboration between government and industry is central to making hydrogen a reality. It’s a great opportunity to encourage a growing number of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on the roads and support the carbon reduction goals of the State.”

A delicious plate of potatoes by Celebrity chef Mei Lin. (Amar D. Gupta/Siliconeer)

Chefs busy creating small plates for attendees at the Toyota Mirai event in Los Angeles, March 17. (Amar D. Gupta/Siliconeer)

A delicious drink with cheese by Celebrity chef Mei Lin. (Amar D. Gupta/Siliconeer)

View of the warehouse-turned-eatery for the Toyota Mirai event in Los Angeles, March 17. (Amar D. Gupta/Siliconeer)