The company's chairman has confirmed a new version of its hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle will be introduced next year.
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The second-generation Toyota Mirai will be launched in 2020, Takeshi Uchiyamada, the Japanese automaker's chairman, has confirmed.

According to Reuters, Uchiyamada made the revelation in Tokyo at meeting on hydrogen energy with ministers from around the world.

We don't know anything about the second-generation Mirai's drivetrain, but it's possible it could use some of the hydrogen fuel-cell technology being developed jointly with BMW.

At the recent Frankfurt motor show, BMW had its i Hydrogen Next on stage. Based on the current X5 but with a next-generation fuel-cell drivetrain, the concept car is said to preview production hydrogen vehicle due in 2022.

The current Mirai has a 113kW/335Nm electric motor driving the front wheels. This is powered by a fuel cell stack, which takes hydrogen from two large on-board tanks and oxygen from the atmosphere, combining them to make electricity and water vapour.

There's also a small 1.6kWh nickel metal hydride battery to store recuperated or excess energy.

Unlike earlier fuel-cell vehicles, the Mirai is available for outright purchase, although only in a small number of locations, such as southern California, Germany and Japan.

In the US, the Mirai has a starting price of US$58,500 ($86,400) before taxes. It has the second highest starting price in Toyota's American range, behind the US$85,315 ($126,000) Land Cruiser and ahead of the US$49,905 ($73,700) Sequoia SUV and US$49,990 ($73,800) Supra.

The price for the Mirai may come with its second iteration. Earlier this year, Matt Harrison, Toyota Europe's head of sales and marketing, told Automotive News Europe, "By the third generation we fully expect fuel cell costs to be comparable with hybrids".