Why Are Used Toyota Mirai So Cheap? And Are They Reliable?

Why are used Toyota Mirai so cheap is one of the most frequently asked questions. Many factors contribute to the vehicle’s low resale value, which includes few hydrogen filling stations in the country, government incentives, and tax exemptions.

Used Toyota Mirai ~ Ran When Parked

We’ll take you through the details and help you determine the Mirai’s average maintenance cost and whether the vehicle is worth it. Whether you’re just curious or are considering buying a used Mirai, this article has all the information you want.

Why Does a Used Mirai Cost So Cheap?

A used Mirai cost so cheap because of the consistently low production and sales numbers since its introduction in 2015. Moreover, limited hydrogen-filling infrastructure, huge government incentives, and tax exemption are to blame. The market is also yet to fully accept hydrogen fuel technology.

The Mirai is unique because it runs on hydrogen stored in onboard containers. This car is one of the two hydrogen-powered vehicles in production currently. Although hydrogen fuel cell technology isn’t new, it’s yet to be used beyond concept cars.

The Mirai has a decent acceleration level, producing 155 horsepower. Combined with its quiet and luxurious interior, it guarantees a smooth driving experience. Initially, the Toyota Mirai prices were relatively high for anyone looking for a more sustainable alternative to petrol or diesel vehicles.

However, the rise of the used market has caused this hydrogen car to become more affordable, and anyone who wishes to switch to hydrogen fuel can do so without breaking the bank.

For example, a 2016 model with less than 100,000 miles on the odometer costs around $10,800 based on Edmunds and other sites that collect data on used cars. You can expect to pay anywhere from $13,000 to $18,500 for a 2017 Mirai that has clocked 60,000 miles or less.

A 2018 model with mileage under 30,000 miles costs between $16,000 and $20,000. The 2019 Mirai ranges between $20,000 to $23,800, and mileage is still under 30,000 miles.

For the second generation Mirai, 2021 and above, prices start from $35,000, with some having recorded less than 10,000 miles. So, why are used Toyota Mirai so cheap to buy? As stated, several factors contribute to the Mirai’s low resale value:

Low Production and Sales Numbers

Since its introduction in 2015, the Mirai’s total sales in the US are only 9274 units. That makes an average of 1,324 cars yearly, with 2015 and 2020 recording 72 and 499, respectively (the lowest number). Though there are 2629 Mirais sold (the highest ever) in 2021, the number is still too small.

Toyota Mirai on Road ~ Ran When Parked

Limited production generally causes the prices to increase due to high demand and low supply. However, that is only true for conventional internal combustion engine cars, which have influenced the EV (electric vehicle) market. Since the Toyota Mirais are the pioneer in their field, low production works against them.

There are at least two million electric vehicles in the country currently. With this significant supply, a well-established infrastructure of fuel stations and mechanics is already in place. With its production and sales numbers substantially low, the Mirai fuel cell vehicle is far from achieving such a milestone.

Limited Hydrogen Filling Stations

Driving a Mirai could be cheap if there are sufficient fueling stations. Hydrogen costs vary, but you can expect to pay $13 to $15 per kilogram (kg). A second-generation Mirai requires approximately 4kg of hydrogen, which translates to about $60. The amount is only enough to cover a distance of about 400 kilometers!

Hydrogen Filling Stations ~ Ran When Parked

A gasoline car with the same engine capacity as Mirai has a consumption rate of roughly 8 liters per 100 kilometers and would currently cost about $35 (petrol is currently retailing at $4 per gallon) to travel the same distance.

So, it currently costs almost twice as much to fuel a hydrogen car, which could mainly be contributed by the limited number of fueling stations. There are 39 hydrogen fuel stations in the entire country. Two are in South Carolina, one in Massachusetts, another in Connecticut and the rest in California.

That means Mirai drivers must know the locations of these stations and plan their trips accordingly, which answers why are used Toyota Mirai so cheap in California? Some states have yet to acquire even a single fueling station, which makes owning a Mirai useless.

So, until the supporting infrastructure is sufficiently made available, the Mirai’s demand and supply will remain low. That has a direct impact on the vehicle price.

Incentives and Tax Exemption

The Toyota Mira, being a zero-emission vehicle, has received a lot of tax exemptions for zero-emission vehicles. It has also got massive purchase incentives and purchase rebates in California.

Tax Exemption of Car ~ Ran When Parked

Only the first owner enjoys these benefits. As such, the used price to the second owner can’t reflect the pre-incentivized price.

Low Market Acceptance

No one is willing to invest in a vehicle with limited to no means of fueling. Only in certain parts of California where buying a Mirai makes sense. Buying or selling this hydrogen vehicle in most parts of the country is difficult due to insufficient support infrastructure.

Besides, many people still need time to understand how the technology works, its reliability, the number of miles the vehicle can last, and the mechanical issues the car will likely face.

In other words, hydrogen technology is still at the young stages of life. Of course, its zero-emission status and limited availability only attract the type of owners who wish to lease and be the first to drive a rare vehicle on the road. That brings the price down severely and also answers why are used Toyota Mirai so cheap for sale?

How the Technology Works

A hydrogen-fueled vehicle works almost the same way as an electric vehicle. Lithium-ion and hydrogen batteries conceptually perform the same task of powering an electric engine, which delivers power to the wheels. So, the only difference between these two is how the power is generated and the battery recharging process.

Hydrogen Fueled Vehicle ~ Ran When Parked

EVs function like a smartphone. The batteries store electric power and spend it when necessary. Recharging can take several hours, depending on the charger you’re using. On the other hand, hydrogen-powered vehicles operate nearly like ordinary internal combustion cars, especially those running on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

Hydrogen is compressed (pressurized) and channeled into the batteries. Unlike recharging lithium-ion batteries, channeling pressurized hydrogen into hydrogen batteries takes only a few minutes.

The cell in the batteries combines hydrogen with oxygen from the air to produce the electricity needed to power the electric motor. That chemical reaction produces water vapor as the only byproduct, which is why Mirai is a zero-emissions vehicle.

What Is the Average Mirai Maintenance Cost?

The average Mirai maintenance cost is about $1,000 every four years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first. The price includes fuel cell cooling fluid top-off, which can increase depending on your driving routine. Other costs involved are replacing regular parts, such as tires, brakes, and suspension.

Mirai Maintenance Cost ~ Ran When Parked

The Mirai is technically an electric vehicle. Thus, the lack of an internal combustion engine makes maintaining the car cheap and easy. The only systems that require changing are the tires, suspension, brakes, and the driveshaft; none of them wear out quickly. The fuel cells should last long since they have no moving parts.

The hydrogen storage tanks are guaranteed to last at least 20 years. Toyota offers a three-year factory warranty on this vehicle, extendable up to ten years through inspections.

The manufacturer also provides a twelve-year warranty on rust protection. It’s recommended to take the car for inspection yearly to check the safety and tank sensors.

As stated, a significant service is required every 60,000 or four years. The service costs roughly $1,000. Though this can quickly add up for a person who drives a lot, the cost of replacing a lithium-ion battery in a used electric car is much higher. That makes the Mirai a better option.

The Toyota Mirai’s Reliability

Many have asked, is Toyota Mirai worth it? Well, it’s hard to tell with certainty because only a few people have had the opportunity to own this vehicle. The Mirai has an average consumer score of 3.2 out of 5 on Edmunds.

While this score doesn’t speak positively about the Toyota Mirai reliability compared to vehicles of the same class and size, the model still needs time to prove itself.

However, avoid the model years of 2016, 2017, and 2018. They generally experience deficient availability and popularity. In addition, the 2016 model year had a significant issue involving abnormal voltage generation by the fuel system. The 2017 and 2018 models are rated as one of the worst years for this hydrogen-fueled car.

As mentioned, the poor rating could be due to the limited production, popularity, and availability of hydrogen filling stations. But several owners of the vehicle have closed over 100,000 kilometers and haven’t reported any significant issues – even the fuel cell still works fine.

Conclusion

Our article has helped you answer one of the most frequently searched questions on the internet- Why are used Toyota Mirai so cheap reddit?

Here’s a summary:

  • Mirai was introduced into the market in 2015, and since then, the production and sales numbers have remained significantly low.
  • These two factors have contributed greatly to its low resale value.
  • The Mirai’s low cost is due to the lack of hydrogen filling stations, as there are only a few unevenly distributed in the country.
  • Government incentives and low market acceptance are also to blame for the hydrogen-powered vehicle’s low resale value.

While the availability of hydrogen filling stations is still a concern, the cost of operating a Mirai is competitive, meaning the vehicle may become more popular as its supportive infrastructure expands. Don’t be afraid to buy this exotic car (if you have access to fueling stations) now that the second-hand market is growing, making the ownership process more affordable.

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