TORRANCE, California — Toyota will begin taking orders for the 2016 Toyota Mirai, the automaker's hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, on July 20. The Japanese automaker describes prospective owners as "the bold and the few."
Toyota also said it will be holding test-drive events prior to vehicle deliveries in select California markets. Specifics on those events have not been released yet.
The automaker said Mirai ordering is open to California residents only online.
Eligible customers will be able to choose one of eight authorized California dealers for Mirai delivery. They are San Francisco Toyota, Roseville Toyota, Stevens Creek Toyota, Toyota of Sunnyvale, Longo Toyota, Toyota Santa Monica, Toyota of Orange and Tustin Toyota.
First deliveries are expected in October and there is a limit of one vehicle per customer. The Mirai will also be available in one configuration only.
Vehicles with the Power-On Demand configuration will not be available until late 2016 and can't be ordered at this time. The Power-On Demand option allows the Mirai to act as a mobile generator and power a home or other electrical devices for a limited time.
Toyota said customers will not be able to place an order for the Mirai directly with a dealer.
Toyota outlined the order process, which includes submitting the order request online and filling out a questionnaire.
At this stage, prospective owners select their preferred dealer, learn about the nearest fueling stations and specify desired vehicle color.
After the order request is processed, a Toyota representative will follow up with a phone interview to confirm eligibility information and answer any questions.
Once approved, a customer has two weeks to get in touch with an authorized dealer, sign all forms and make a deposit.
"Your vehicle will be built once the order is placed," Toyota said. "Eligible customers will generally receive a vehicle within 2-12 months of when they submit an order, depending on availability."
Toyota said customers who plan on "garaging" their vehicle outside of California are not eligible for a Mirai at this time, "given limited fueling infrastructure." The U.S. Department of Energy says there are just 12 public hydrogen refueling stations in the U.S.
Customers who are not eligible to get a vehicle at the time of their interview can be put on a wait list for future production.
"As the territorial footprint of Mirai increases and as infrastructure grows across the U.S., more consumers will become eligible," Toyota said.
Customers can buy or lease the Mirai. The lease includes complimentary hydrogen fuel for three years or $15,000 maximum, whichever comes first. The Mirai is priced at $58,325, including an $825 destination charge. Mirai U.S. sales volume is planned for approximately 3,000 units through 2017.
The Mirai has a driving range of 312 miles, according to Toyota. The EPA has not posted official fuel economy numbers and driving range on the Mirai.
Edmunds says: Toyota is carefully screening prospective Mirai owners to make sure its highly anticipated hydrogen fuel cell vehicle gets a successful launch.