mux
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Re: Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell

Tue May 29, 2018 1:12 am

Nope, I have no comprehensive sales data to that end because there is none AFAIK. I've been following them closely though. If you look at the carsalesbase data, the big spike in august of 2016 coincided with the Sacramento legislature renewing their fleet, and them announcing the purchase of 80 Mirais across a couple entities. I've been subsequently following other press releases and disclosure showing lots of smaller government entities also buying or leasing them for both commuting and official duty. This is also in line with Jerry Brown's 30% ZEV requirement on government vehicles. There's also a $15k public fleet rebate on top of the $15k purchase help and free fuel if you buy an FCEV for public duties.

Like you, I'd love to actually have hard data on to who, where and how they are selling. All I have to go on are vague inferences, and those seem to point to most of them going to port authorities, government and other fleet management companies. Very few in the grand scheme of things seem to actually go to consumers.

Another bit of trivia is that for such a trailblazing vehicle, very few people are talking about it as owners. Just here in the Netherlands, we have only about 5000 Nissan Leafs driving around (similar to the amount of Mirais in CA), yet there are multiple active forums dedicated to it from times when sales were much lower even. The state of Mirai forums is beyond dreadful; maybe one post a month in the most active owner's forum. Even facebook groups are dead. The subreddit is just one guy religiously posting anything that even vaguely has to do with Mirai press releases or hydrogen. If there are people who are genuinely enthusiastic about the car and tech, I'd expect more than the usual three or four sycophants to say stuff on the internet about them. And I'm one of those three or four people!

Hell, the EV1 had much more active internet forums, and back then the internet barely existed! No joke. It's a crying shame that I can't show you www.gmev.com on the wayback machine, it was an awesome site... 20 years ago.

The Clarity has a lot more hustle and bustle around it, but nobody is buying the FCEV. It's all people raving (for good reason) about the PHEV and BEV, both of which are excellent vehicles in their own right.

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RegGuheert
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Re: Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell

Tue May 29, 2018 3:54 am

mux wrote:What they should be doing, and IMO what would be a signifier of a company truly serious about hydrogen, is if one of the big automakers releases a plug-in electric-fuel cell hybrid. Something with both a decent battery (say 24 or 30kWh) and a small range extender fuel cell, say 10kW or so. That would be easily cheap enough to make a car that sells well and gets consumers accustomed to hydrogen without the range anxiety of not having anywhere to fill up.
Exactly. The lack of a plug is proof that they are not serious about this technology. I pointed this out nearly four years ago on page 104 of the H2 thread:
RegGuheert on August, 2014 wrote:But for the kinds of FCVs being produced by the car manufacturers today, the utility is only marginally better than a BEV for long-distance travel, and worse for commuting. Those cars need a plug, but it has gone missing. Without one, they will cost more to purchase AND more to operate than the equivalent BEV.
The lack of a plug on ANY of the H2 FCV cars for sale in the U.S. is very telling, IMO.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K mi. on 041413; 20K mi. (55.7Ah) on 080714; 30K mi. (52.0Ah) on 123015; 40K mi. (49.8Ah) on 020817; 50K mi. (47.2Ah) on 120717; 60K mi. (43.66Ah) on 091918.
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GRA
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Re: Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell

Tue May 29, 2018 6:13 pm

cwerdna wrote:
mux wrote:I've always been super interested in the sales trends, especially because Toyota is quite secretive about it. What I've been able to figure out so far:

- The vast, vast majority of FCEVs is sold to government agencies, municipalities, etc. You can see this clearly in the yearly leasing cycle

I've never noticed that. Have any data on that? Have any direct data about it going to govt entities? I've yet to see any Mirais or FCEVs here in the Bay Area that have CA exempt plates. They all seem to be leased by private individuals. There's at least 1 or 2 at my work. It helps that the H2 fueling station is down the street. I sometimes see a Mirai fueling there. Haven't stopped to say hi or check their plate.

I sometimes see one running around my area (near home). I don't recall if it's the same color and same Mirai that's parked on the driveway of a street connected to mine.

I sometimes see some Mirai's getting onto highway 17 but never got a close enough look to see if it belongs to anyone at work. I don't think the colors are right.

I haven't seen any exempt FCEVs either. Although the sales totals to date favor the Mirai, I see far more Clarity FCEVs. Last Friday I saw four Claritys during the evening rush hour, one of which was a PHEV and the other three undetermined, but probably either FCEV (more likely) or BEV (less). The only way I know to tell them apart is by the badging on the fenders. The PHEV says "Plug-In Hybrid" on two lines like a Prius, the others say "Fuel Cell" or "Electric" on one line. If I'm at an intermediate distance I can tell if it's one or two lines, but can't read them. Oh, saw the first Red HOV sticker that day as well, but don't remember what it was on.
Last edited by GRA on Sun Jun 03, 2018 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

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Re: Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell

Sun Jun 03, 2018 4:05 pm

Per IEVS, May U.S. Mirai sales/leases were 102, up from 76 last month, and 640 total for the year. Still very limited, but the first MoM increase this year. Still waiting on Clarity FCEV lease info.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

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RegGuheert
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Re: Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell

Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:59 pm

GRA ib June 3, 2018 wrote:<span>Per IEVS, May U.S. <a href="http://www.mytoyotamirai.com" class="interlinkr">Mirai<span class="tip">Visit the Mirai Forum</span></a> sales/leases were 102, up from 76 last month, and 640 total for the year. Still very limited, but the first MoM increase this year. Still waiting on Clarity FCEV lease info.</span>
GRA on June 1, 2017 wrote:May U.S. Mirai sales per IEVS: 162 (579 YTD). The IEVS article has a mistake and says 305 YTD, which was the total at the end of March IIRR. Of note, the Clarity FCEV saw its leases jump to 119 in May (previous high 42 in January), so I think the word is spreading that it's a better car than the Mirai.
In other words, fewer than 63% as many Mirais were moved this May versus May 2017.

So much for Toyota's grandiose predictions for fuel-cell vehicles made back in 2005:
RegGuheert wrote:Then he makes his predictions:
Jim Press - Then COO of Toyota North America at 1:03:18 wrote:Ten years from now, you'll begin to see hydrogen-powered cars here and there.
O.K. There are a handful out there. But I've never seen one. What I do see "here and there" are BEVs. He goes on:
Jim Press - Then COO of Toyota North America at 1:03:22 wrote:But 15 to 20 years from now they'll be the norm.
Does anyone think H2 FCVs will be "the norm" within the next 2 to 7 years. I don't. In fact, I predict I will never see a single one on the roads around here in that time frame.

Lots of money has been taken from taxpayers and wasted on this effort.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K mi. on 041413; 20K mi. (55.7Ah) on 080714; 30K mi. (52.0Ah) on 123015; 40K mi. (49.8Ah) on 020817; 50K mi. (47.2Ah) on 120717; 60K mi. (43.66Ah) on 091918.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

GRA
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Re: Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell

Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:47 pm

RegGuheert wrote:
GRA ib June 3, 2018 wrote:<span>Per IEVS, May U.S. <a href="http://www.mytoyotamirai.com" class="interlinkr">Mirai<span class="tip">Visit the Mirai Forum</span></a> sales/leases were 102, up from 76 last month, and 640 total for the year. Still very limited, but the first MoM increase this year. Still waiting on Clarity FCEV lease info.</span>
GRA on June 1, 2017 wrote:May U.S. Mirai sales per IEVS: 162 (579 YTD). The IEVS article has a mistake and says 305 YTD, which was the total at the end of March IIRR. Of note, the Clarity FCEV saw its leases jump to 119 in May (previous high 42 in January), so I think the word is spreading that it's a better car than the Mirai.
In other words, fewer than 63% as many Mirais were moved this May versus May 2017.

Quite so, and I imagine most of the difference is due to the availability of the Clarity FCEV. Mirai sales dropped after the Clarity became available, just as you'd expect for two vehicles competing in the same limited niche. [Edit] IEVS now has Clarity FCEV numbers, 30 for May, which is very poor compared to last month. I wonder if this is an inventory problem.

RegGuheert wrote:So much for Toyota's grandiose predictions for fuel-cell vehicles made back in 2005:
RegGuheert wrote:Then he makes his predictions:
Jim Press - Then COO of Toyota North America at 1:03:18 wrote:Ten years from now, you'll begin to see hydrogen-powered cars here and there.
O.K. There are a handful out there. But I've never seen one. What I do see "here and there" are BEVs. He goes on:
Jim Press - Then COO of Toyota North America at 1:03:22 wrote:But 15 to 20 years from now they'll be the norm.
Does anyone think H2 FCVs will be "the norm" within the next 2 to 7 years. I don't. In fact, I predict I will never see a single one on the roads around here in that time frame.

Lots of money has been taken from taxpayers and wasted on this effort.

Shall we also talk about Carlos Ghosn's predictions of when there'd be 500k LEAFs, or President Obama's prediction of when there'd be 1 million PEVs in the U.S. (or the $100 million that Ecotality got from the government before going bankrupt and selling their assets for $4 million to CCGI)? "It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future."
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

mux
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Re: Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell

Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:46 am

I'm somewhat willing to pitch for the other side of the argument: I do think that FCEVs are a growth market overall. But absolutely not for consumers, there is just no motivation at all. The real growth will be in heavy duty vehicles, and a lot of this growth will depend on what segment of the market they will be able to grab soon enough. Short-range trucks will obviously go battery-electric, as will last mile deliveries, but long haul? They might very well go with fuel cells on restricted routes with long range. Keep in mind that a lot of money can be saved with high uptime, and that can offset the added expense of fuel cell systems and fueling stations. A couple million per filling station is a lot of money, but on the TCO of a fleet it's nothing. So there is still a bit of a niche there.

Now, if some company comes out with MWh-scale batteries in class 8 trucks and road trains AND provides competitive ultra fast chargers at docking bays, that's game over for ground-based hydrogen. Loading and unloading times are in the order of required charging time, so there is a no-wait option for BEV truck charging as well. That completely removes the USP of hydrogen. However, it does add cost to the fleet operator who will likely need giant buffer batteries and many charging points at their warehouses. I'd wager those are in the same order of magnitude, maybe more expensive than a single hydrogen filling station.

It's hard to say until we see some serious efforts in the truck and heavy duty vehicle space. Both Nikola One (if it's a real truck) and Tesla Semi are years still years out.

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Re: Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell

Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:26 am

mux wrote:I'm somewhat willing to pitch for the other side of the argument: I do think that FCEVs are a growth market overall. But absolutely not for consumers, there is just no motivation at all. The real growth will be in heavy duty vehicles, and a lot of this growth will depend on what segment of the market they will be able to grab soon enough. Short-range trucks will obviously go battery-electric, as will last mile deliveries, but long haul? They might very well go with fuel cells on restricted routes with long range. Keep in mind that a lot of money can be saved with high uptime, and that can offset the added expense of fuel cell systems and fueling stations. A couple million per filling station is a lot of money, but on the TCO of a fleet it's nothing. So there is still a bit of a niche there.

Now, if some company comes out with MWh-scale batteries in class 8 trucks and road trains AND provides competitive ultra fast chargers at docking bays, that's game over for ground-based hydrogen. Loading and unloading times are in the order of required charging time, so there is a no-wait option for BEV truck charging as well. That completely removes the USP of hydrogen. However, it does add cost to the fleet operator who will likely need giant buffer batteries and many charging points at their warehouses. I'd wager those are in the same order of magnitude, maybe more expensive than a single hydrogen filling station.

It's hard to say until we see some serious efforts in the truck and heavy duty vehicle space. Both Nikola One (if it's a real truck) and Tesla Semi are years still years out.


I see you've omitted the pink elephant (the cost of the fuel) in your devil's advocacy. Fleet operators are just as sensitive to the cost of fuel as to any of the other factors. At 100k miles per truck per year and assuming 10 miles per kg of H2 (extrapolating from the mirai's efficiency to the 6mpg that trucks get), that's 10,000 kg of H2 per truck, per year. A fleet of 20 trucks would easily cost $1million/year just to fuel. No fleet operator is going to want that albatross around their neck, especially since it costs half that to run their existing diesel trucks.

So even if Tesla Semi falls behind, and doesn't meet its production timeline, FCEV trucks are not going to make much inroads.
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mux
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Re: Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell

Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:40 am

Fuel isn't necessarily a dealbreaker, as you can (in a lot of places at least) offset per-unit fuel cost by doing onsite electrolysis using spare solar power. This transforms fuel to manufactured power. You'll need more solar panels for hydrogen synthesis and compression than to power battery-electric trucks, but the cost of solar is already so low and only going down. If you are operating a fleet and have control over the endpoints of journeys, this is a relatively small piece of the puzzle.

I don't think this is necessarily a dealbreaker.

Ultimately, this is rather weak devil's advocacy, and that is in part because there is no fundamental advantage to fuel cells. You have to construct application niches from transient weaknesses in battery technology. Charging speed and fuel density are basically the only things you can go off of and in heavy duty vehicles, because of high equipment and labor cost, you want to maximize utilization. Fueling is downtime, so you can offset cost disadvantages of hydrogen fuel cells with fueling speed. This isn't a trivial amount of money; a trucker may fill up $200 worth of fuel and take $25 in time to do so, charging a battery may be the complete reverse. A fuel cell truck may fill up in the same amount of time and cost $50 in fuel, so still represent an overall lower TCO. Plug in whatever numbers you think are reasonable, I'm happy to discuss this in detail with some real numbers.

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RegGuheert
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Re: Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell

Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:39 am

mux wrote:Fuel isn't necessarily a dealbreaker, as you can (in a lot of places at least) offset per-unit fuel cost by doing onsite electrolysis using spare solar power. This transforms fuel to manufactured power. You'll need more solar panels for hydrogen synthesis and compression than to power battery-electric trucks, but the cost of solar is already so low and only going down. If you are operating a fleet and have control over the endpoints of journeys, this is a relatively small piece of the puzzle.
At a COST of OVER US$9.00/kg, extracting H2 from water through electrolysis is the MOST expensive form of H2 fuel. If you use photovoltaics to produce the electricity instead of grid power, you reduce the per-unit cost of the fuel, but you increase the capital cost of the equipment by reducing utilization, so it is not a real savings but instead likely increases costs.

You said it best here:
mux wrote:Ultimately, this is rather weak devil's advocacy, and that is in part because there is no fundamental advantage to fuel cells. You have to construct application niches from transient weaknesses in battery technology.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K mi. on 041413; 20K mi. (55.7Ah) on 080714; 30K mi. (52.0Ah) on 123015; 40K mi. (49.8Ah) on 020817; 50K mi. (47.2Ah) on 120717; 60K mi. (43.66Ah) on 091918.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

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