What are your company’s Hydrogen-related milestones for this year?

This year is the third full year of sales for our fuel cell sedan, the Mirai, and we are selling all the vehicles we can produce — which is around 3,000 per year at the moment. We have also launched two fuel cell buses in the Tokyo Metropolitan area. These are the first of a fleet that will start being deployed in 2018 and will eventually be more than 100-strong towards the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.  We unveiled a prototype FC heavy duty truck in Los Angeles to study how to use the technology in the commercial transport area. And we have started using hydrogen to power some of our plants in Toyota City and introduced hydrogen forklifts.  Also, we have just launched a new fuel cell vehicle concept at the Tokyo Motor Show, the Fine-Comfort Ride, which is targeting a range of around 1000km.

If you could communicate one hydrogen-related message to the general public, what would it be?

Toyota is famous for having introduced the first hybrid car to the world, the Prius. I was lucky enough to be the chief engineer for that car. Since then we have sold almost 4 million Prius, and more than 10 million hybrid vehicles. Prius means “that which comes before.”  It was a precursor.  Mirai – the name for our fuel cell car – means “the future” in Japanese. That, to me, says it all.

Anything other thoughts, comments, quotes or articles you would like to share?

If you are passionate about what you think is right, keep moving forward. I am convinced that we can create the right conditions for mass adoption of hydrogen for a better society for our children.

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