Tesla’s driving range is dwarfed by the new kid on the block, the Toyota Mirai. The new Mirai boasts a range of 502 kilometers between refuels and an average of 3.5L/100 km when it hits the roads later this year in markets other than Australia.
Toyota keen to prove Tesla CEO wrong
Toyota’s North America CEO, Jim Lentz, talked about fuel efficiency and range figures at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colo. Lentz said, “Just as the Prius introduced hybrid-electric vehicles to millions of customers, the Mirai will usher in a new era of efficient hydrogen transportation.”
Industry experts feel that Toyota is proud of the Mirai’s 502km range as it overpowers the highest 434km range claimed by Tesla’s Model S 85D. Toyota and Tesla are in a constant tussle to take the number one spot after Tesla CEO Elon Musk slammed Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell technology, calling it “fool cells.” In January, Musk said the Japanese car maker’s decision to invest in hydrogen power is “extremely silly.”
The Mirai could be priced at $57,500, below the prior estimated price and keeping the car at an affordable price point compared to its electric rivals like Tesla, which starts at $69,900.
Infrastructure a concern
Unfortunately infrastructure in the U.S., and Europe is not up to the mark for the fuel hydrogen cells. One hydrogen filling station costs around $1 million to build. However, Toyota is all excited to see FCEV running on the roads in the U.S. and is willing to offer a free hire car for three years to anyone who claims that the 502km range is not enough. According to the Dept. of Energy, across the nation, there are only a dozen hydrogen filling stations and most of which are in California.
Meanwhile, Tesla is working on its much-hyped Model X and its low-price sedan. The Palo Alto-based company is hoping to enhance performance and drop the price using its massive gigafactory, which is still under construction.
Over the past two years, Tesla has outperformed the broader market, increasing 132% compared to the S&P 500 and NASDAQ’s 29% and 47% respectively. Technical analyst Rich Ross said that shares of the EV manufacturer have been sturdy in the volatile macro-trends, which makes him think that they could reach $300.