According to The Asahi Shimbun today, in a long-term street test of its Mirai, the first fuel-cell vehicle (FCV) offered to the public, Toyota Motor Corp. is enlisting the aid of taxi drivers here to see how they fare under gritty driving conditions.
Meitetsu Taxi Holdings Co. will operate three hydrogen-powered Mirai on loan from Toyota from the end of January, two of which are to be metered taxis and one for charter use.
Toyota will collect data on their performance to examine their durability and other issues that may arise from their heavy use.
Passengers will also have a rare opportunity to ride the futuristic car, which has been long-awaited by their prospective owners. Released in 2015, there is a three-year waiting list for the Mirai, with only about 400 having been delivered.
The Mirai cabs will be available by reservation and will not cruise around the city seeking fares. When not in use, they will be parked at taxi stands at the Dainagoya Building in front of Nagoya Station and other sites. The charter rate will be hourly and the same as a regular midsize vehicle.
Tsubame-taxi group, another taxi provider based in Nagoya, will also introduce three Mirai for chartered use from the middle of January.
Since last March, Mirai have also been employed by a taxi company in Fukuoka Prefecture. Hinomaru Kotsu Co., a Tokyo-based taxi provider, started operating the vehicle from the end of 2015. However, the lack of hydrogen fuel stations has forced Hinomaru Kotsu to limit the service to reservations only with a fixed destination.
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