Imagine paying just $11,800 for a nearly new 2019 Toyota. Quite a bargain, you might say. But what example could it be? From one Corolla? It will be the deal of the century, unless it shows 200,000 kilometers on the odometer. From one yaris? Of course not, as they are currently selling for more than new! So, from one Prius C? Unlikely, a 2013 or 2014 model still sells for that price.
However, a 2019 Toyota with only 2,000 km on the clock was sold for this price, a few weeks ago, at auction. This example is a Mirai. A hydrogen car whose value in 2019 was around $75,000, but which – for obvious reasons – does not find a buyer in Quebec.
In fact, over the past few weeks, there have been quite a few Toyota Mirais making their way through the Adesa Auction. Cars that were sold to companies or individuals, sometimes even bought by a Toyota dealer, and which today are probably in the loss column of the accounting books. Because the lease is temporary or because we want to get rid of them, so they are sent to auction.
The first bids made for these cars – which sometimes showed only a few hundred kilometers on the odometer – rose to more than $20,000. However, because the auctioneer failed to mention that it was a hydrogen car, some buyers thought it was a traditional hybrid. Some activities were cancelled. Worse, one buyer even drove the car around Montreal until it ran out of gas, not knowing where to fill up with hydrogen, before putting it back up for sale.
For those who don’t know, you should know that there is only one station that allows people to refuel at the moment in the region. And it’s in Quebec, at the Harnois gas station. The announcement was also made at the Montreal Auto Show held in January 2019, when the station was about to be launched (it was October 2019). Toyota used the opportunity to announce that the Government of Quebec is buying 50 Toyota Mirais that would be used by various departments and employees. Vehicles managed by CGER (Rolling Equipment Management Center) and which, for the most part, are parked 99.9% of the time, today show very low mileage. Another government expense that is more a political gesture than a real need…
Leased by the Government, these vehicles should logically also expire soon. So we can imagine that fifty Toyota Mirai will end up at auction, of course without buyers. Unless, of course, they are transported to California where it is possible to refuel, or even new hydrogen stations have been established in La Belle Region. The reason that can weigh the balance, although the fuel efficiency of these cars is not very economical. Indeed, the Mirai uses roughly 1 kg of hydrogen per 100 km, this kg is selling this week for $17.30 at Harnois. So it costs about the same as a gas-powered RAV4 that uses 8.5 liters per 100 km at $2 per liter.
yet the dreamer continues to believe in the hydrogen car. A the new generation of Mirai It has recently been released to the public, taking a more interesting line than the first. However, without infrastructure, without financial benefits, and knowing more than that that the Government above all prioritizes the transition to the electric car, it is difficult to believe in a promising future for the hydrogen car.
So don’t be surprised if, in fact, a used car dealer bought the 2019 model for just $11,800. A bill of contempt compared to the quality of the product, but which fully reflects the principle of supply and demand.
Will we soon see this car in a used car dealership for almost double the price? It’s possible, but people still have to be interested. Currently, there are three 2019 Mirai for sale in Quebec (ref Otogo.ca) between $26,390 and $28,490, with a mileage of 49 to 7,400 km. And if 50 Government cars would suddenly end in our market, imagine how much the value of Mirai would drop!