Why Are Used Toyota Mirai So Cheap? Let’s Find Out

Why Are Used Toyota Mirai So Cheap – When it comes to eco-friendly vehicles, the Toyota Mirai stands out as a pioneer in the world of hydrogen fuel cell technology.

With its promise of emission-free driving and a future-oriented approach, it’s no wonder that many are curious about why used Toyota Mirai vehicles seem to come with such a reasonable price tag.

In this article, we’ll explore the factors that contribute to this phenomenon and shed light on the intriguing question: Why are used Toyota Mirai so cheap?

The Toyota Mirai, a groundbreaking hydrogen-fueled vehicle, has sparked intrigue in the automotive world. As one of only two hydrogen-powered cars currently in production, the Mirai represents a bold leap toward sustainable transportation.

However, the question that looms large is: why are used Toyota Mirai vehicles surprisingly affordable?

Why Are Used Toyota Mirai So Cheap

History of Toyota Mirai

The name “Mirai,” meaning “future” in English, perfectly encapsulates Toyota’s vision for a vehicle powered by hydrogen, often hailed as the fuel of the future.

Toyota’s journey into hydrogen fuel cell technology commenced in 1992, culminating in the debut of the first concept car, the EVS13, in 1996.

Over the years, Toyota’s relentless pursuit of perfection led to significant advancements, with the technology earning FCHV-type certification in Japan.

By 2008, hydrogen-powered concept cars could travel up to an impressive 515 miles.

Despite a setback when U.S. government funding for hydrogen fuel-cell cars was withdrawn, Toyota persevered.

In 2011, they achieved a breakthrough, with only mass production optimization remaining as a hurdle to commercial sales.

The first-generation Mirai made its official debut in December of 2014, arriving on U.S. shores in August of 2015, with a retail price of $57,500.

The first generation, JPD10 Mirai, was in production for a span of six years before being succeeded by the second-generation JPD20, which continues production to this day.

How Does Toyota Mirai Work?

Why Are Used Toyota Mirai So Cheap

To grasp why the Mirai is priced as it is, it’s essential to understand its operational principles. In essence, the Mirai functions similarly to a conventional electric vehicle but with a revolutionary twist.

Both hydrogen and lithium-ion batteries serve the common purpose of driving an electric motor that powers the vehicle.

However, the key distinction lies in power generation and recharging. Electric vehicles store electricity for later use, which can result in extended recharge times.

In contrast, hydrogen vehicles, like the Mirai, operate more akin to internal combustion cars, where hydrogen is pressurized and swiftly channeled into the batteries, a process taking mere minutes.

The result is a vehicle that emits nothing but warm air and water, pushing the boundaries of eco-friendliness.

Read Also: Why Are Toyotas So Expensive?

Toyota Mirai Specifications

First Generation JPD10 2014-2020

The initial iteration of the Toyota Mirai is a front-motor, front-wheel-drive vehicle equipped with a 1.6kWh Nickel-metal hydride battery. It boasts a respectable power output of 152 horsepower and 247 foot-pounds of torque, achieving a 0-60mph acceleration in 9 seconds.

Perhaps the most remarkable feature is its range, a staggering 312 miles on 122 liters of hydrogen stored in two tanks.

This refueling process takes only 3-5 minutes, setting it apart from traditional electric vehicles.

Extensive crash testing has been conducted to ensure the utmost safety for passengers and the vehicle’s hydrogen infrastructure.

Second Generation JPD20 2020

The second-generation Mirai, available for just over a year, represents a substantial leap forward.

The motor has been repositioned to the rear, now driving the rear wheels.

Power output has been elevated to 182 horsepower and 220 foot-pounds of torque, and the Nickel-metal battery has been replaced with a modern lithium-ion counterpart.

This revamped model now offers an extended range of 402 miles on 141 liters of hydrogen stored in three tanks.

Euro NCAP crash testing affirms the Mirai’s status as an exceedingly safe vehicle, earning a 5-star overall rating with high safety marks in individual categories.

Reason Why Are Used Toyota Mirai So Cheap?

Now, let’s dissect the intriguing question: why are used Toyota Mirai vehicles so reasonably priced?

There are several contributing factors, some of which are universal in the automotive world, while others are unique to this particular model.

Why Are Used Toyota Mirai So Cheap

1. Production Numbers

Despite being a herald of commercial hydrogen-powered vehicles, the Mirai falls short of widespread adoption.

Since 2015, only 9,274 units have been sold in the U.S., averaging a modest 1,324 vehicles annually.

This limited production run, counterintuitively, contributes to a lower resale value due to the juxtaposition of high demand and low availability.

2. Hydrogen Supply Infrastructure

The dearth of publicly accessible hydrogen refueling stations in the U.S. poses a significant challenge for potential Mirai owners.

With a meager 39 stations nationwide, predominantly concentrated in California, the Mirai’s viability is confined to select regions.

The lack of a robust hydrogen infrastructure severely impacts its market presence.

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3. Government Incentives

To bolster adoption, Toyota offered substantial purchase incentives, tax exemptions, and significant rebates in California for new Mirai owners.

However, these incentives do not carry over to subsequent owners, leading to a marked discrepancy between new and used prices.

4. Market Acceptance

The limited availability of refueling stations coupled with reservations from the general public significantly dampens market acceptance.

Moreover, questions surrounding the longevity and potential repair costs of Mirai vehicles contribute to a lower resale value.

Toyota Mirai Resale Value: A Closer Look

Considering the unique factors influencing the Mirai market, it’s essential to examine its resale value closely.

Toyota Mirai Resale Value

  1. As of now, a 2016 model can be found for as low as $10,888, boasting 89,500 miles on the odometer.
  2. The 2017 models range from $13,500 to $18,000, with mileage typically between 30,000 and 50,000 miles.
  3. A 2018 model with only 28,500 miles and a single owner can be acquired for approximately $16,000.
  4. Moving to the 2019 models, prices range from $20,000 to $23,500, all with mileage under 30,000 miles.
  5. The second-generation 2021 Mirai, with just 5,000 miles, can be found for as little as $35,000, with prices ascending to $41,000 for select offerings.

Interpreting Value Depreciation

Comparing the Mirai’s value depreciation to conventional fossil-fuel vehicles reveals a stark contrast.

While the average car depreciates by 45-50% in five years and 65-75% in ten years, a 2016 Mirai retains only 18.8% of its original value.

This pronounced depreciation curve is partly attributed to the substantial incentives for new models, rendering used Mirai models less enticing without a corresponding discount.

Read Also: Most Expensive Toyota

Toyota Mirai Maintenance Costs

In terms of regular maintenance, the Mirai mirrors the efficiency of an electric car. With no internal combustion engine, maintenance costs are notably lower.

Components such as tires, brakes, suspension, and the driveshaft may require occasional replacement, but none exhibit rapid wear.

Hydrogen fuel cells, characterized by a lack of moving parts, are poised for a lengthy lifespan, though comprehensive maintenance data is limited.

Mirai vs. Prius vs. Tesla Model 3: Cost Comparison

In a comparative analysis of hydrogen, hybrid, and electric vehicles, it becomes evident how each option fares in terms of initial cost and operational expenses.

The 2022 Mirai, with incentives factored in, can be acquired for $34,500, significantly undercutting the Tesla Model 3, which starts at $56,500 after rebates.

While hydrogen costs per mile are higher than electricity, the substantial incentives and lower purchase price could render the Mirai a viable long-term option.

Read Also: Why Are Toyotas So Reliable?

Is the used Toyota Mirai reliable?

The reliability of a used Toyota Mirai can vary, but the 2019 and 2021 models are considered among the most reliable. However, it’s important to note that owning a Mirai may require adjustments to your travel schedule and maintenance budget due to its unique hydrogen fuel cell technology.

How many miles can a Mirai last?

According to Toyota, the Mirai can achieve a range of up to 402 miles on a single fill-up of hydrogen. This aligns with the EPA’s estimated range for certain models, indicating its impressive mileage capabilities.

How long does the Toyota Mirai battery last?

The battery of a 2022 Toyota Mirai typically needs replacement every 3 to 5 years. Regular battery testing is recommended to monitor voltage levels and ensure it continues to operate reliably.

Does the Mirai need an oil change?

The Toyota Mirai does not require traditional oil changes, as it operates on hydrogen fuel cell technology. Instead, routine maintenance involves checking and maintaining the fuel cell system and other components specific to hydrogen-powered vehicles.

Consult your owner’s manual and dealer for the maintenance intervals best suited for your Mirai.


The affordability of used Toyota Mirai vehicles can be attributed to a combination of unique market dynamics, limited production, infrastructure constraints, and government incentives.

Embracing the future of sustainable transportation has never been more accessible, making the question of “Why Are Used Toyota Mirai So Cheap?” a compelling entry point into this revolutionary automotive frontier.

Factors such as low production numbers, a sparse hydrogen refueling infrastructure, and the absence of widespread market acceptance have all contributed to the lower resale value of the Mirai.

For those intrigued by the potential of hydrogen fuel cell technology and seeking an eco-conscious transportation option, the Mirai presents an intriguing opportunity.

So, if you find yourself wondering, “Why are used Toyota Mirai so cheap?” – now you know the intriguing reasons behind this automotive mystery. Don’t miss out on the chance to embrace the future of sustainable transportation at a price that’s surprisingly within reach.

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