Curious sales

Discussion in 'Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles' started by bwilson4web, Mar 12, 2019.

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  1. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    My understanding is that some, if not most, Mirai purchases are for testing fleets. Before there were any commercially produced fuel cell cars such as the Mirai, those government agencies and research groups that ran FCEVs had to make them (or pay someone else to make them) as conversion vehicles, or at least that's my understanding. There were about two dozen non-public H2 dispensing stations in the U.S. before the California Fuel Cell Partnership affiliates started building them in California, and that suggests about the same number of agencies and research groups running (small) fleets of fuel cell cars.

    These days, those fleets are probably getting their cars from Toyota, Honda, or some other source. So fleet sales may explain why there seems to be a lot of month-to-month variation in sales of FCEVs.

    Now, what I don't understand is why there are still dozens of gov't agencies and/or privately funded research groups still throwing money away on testing hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles. You'd have thought that this was an experiment that had run its course decades ago. What more can there possibly be to learn there?

    There may be a future for FCEVs, if they can use some fuel other than compressed hydrogen. That is, if they can run on a practical fuel. So there might be a reason to continue research along that line. But it seems to me that spending money on testing or development of hydrogen-powered FCEVs is just throwing good money after bad.

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  3. tps5352

    tps5352 Member

    I've just started examining this data. Very interesting, thanks for posting it. But I may have found a mistake...?

    Is there a problem with the site (Source 2) 2019 monthly numbers for the Honda Clarity fuel cell car (Clarity FCV)?

    The claimed total (January to October) of 9,994 Honda Clarity FCVs "sold" in the USA (from Source 2) seems high. Recall that there are three very similar-looking versions of Clarity (all three started being offered in 2017): fuel cell, plug-in hybrid, and battery-electric. The fuel cell Clarity is only available in California. Has Source 2 combined "sales" numbers for all three versions, since numbers for the other two Clarity versions are not separately listed? If so, fuel cell version numbers will be much smaller--I'm thinking something like 200 or less a month? I imagine that the plug-in hybrid is far and away the most popular version. Also, the fuel cell car cannot be sold, only leased (for three years), if that matters. Does Source 2 even include lease numbers in its tallies? Is it possible that the 9,994 number only includes hybrid and battery Clarity cars, which can be purchased.

    The total of all FCEV sales (counting Honda, Toyota, and Hyundai models, I assume) in California (I assume the data are for California) for 2019 (Jan.-Oct.) of 1,798 from Source 1 also suggests that a mistake was made in the Source 2 website.
  4. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Sorry, I don't know. You might contact the web site for details. A similar problem would exist with multi-drivetrain models that share the same name. For example, the Hyundai IONIQ.

    Bob Wilson
  5. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I don't know, but congratulations on applying critical thinking and asking the right question!
  6. tps5352

    tps5352 Member

    Just so you know, I did contact but have not heard back. However, this website:

    confirms my suspicions that the claimed total of 9,994 "Honda Clarity FCVs" sold in 2019 (Jan. to Oct.) on the website actually includes all three Clarity versions (battery, hybrid, and hydrogen). Too bad the data are lumped together. I believe the plug-in hybrid model is by far the most popular version. And who knows whether Clarity fuel cell lease numbers are even included in their monthly "sales" table? (The plug-in battery and hybrid Clarity versions can be sold; the fuel cell car only leased.)

    Meanwhile, the 2019 fuel cell car sales figures provided at (as referenced by Bob Wilson in Post #1 of this Thread) indicate total U.S. fuel cell car sales of only 1,798 in 2019 (Jan.-Oct.) for all makes-models (including the more popular Toyota and the Hyudai). So 2019 Clarity fuel cell sales(=lease) numbers are probably small and nowhere near the 9,994 claimed by the website.

    In addition, a pie-chart at shows that fuel cell cars make up only the tiniest portion of the current U.S. alternative-fuel sales effort (made up of sales of diesel, plug-in hybrid, hybrid, battery, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles). But in their defense, remember that in the U.S. consumer fuel cell cars are still an experiment primarily limited to California, by intention. Meanwhile, in Japan and Europe...
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  8. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Understand I take no joy in low fuel cell car sales or leases. Rather, it is the by-product of hard, economic realities:
    • ~$2M for each station in California requiring substantial subsidies
    • 3x the cost per mile compared to BEV
    My understanding are CARB credits for fuel cell vehicles are 3x that of an equivalent BEV. But the subsidized infrastructure and post credit costs are not very attractive.

    Bob Wilson
  9. Roy_H

    Roy_H Active Member

    Mirai sales for November are 98, Hyundai and Honda versions are typically about 20 to 30 per month but no stats yet. Just going by Mirai, sales peaked in 2017 at 1838, down slightly in 2018 at 1700 and this year looks like it will come in below 1600 (1449 currently).

    Mirai used car sales for November are 27, so higher than average but far below October's 56. I know I previously reported October as 60 sales, but some were returned to the dealership or moved to another branch so just temporarily de-listed. Average prices falling, currently around a much more reasonable $17k. This makes the purchased used versions closer in monthly payments to leased new versions after taking into account the new ones get 3 years free H2 fuel.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
  10. Roy_H

    Roy_H Active Member

    November data for all FCVs now available, 180 cars sold/leased. This is a huge increase for Honda and Hyundai since Mirai was 98, that leave 82 for them. Total sales is about same as previous years, so it seems that Mirai sales are down while Honda and Hyundai are increasing.

    Mirai used sales are up, already 22 sold and month only half over. I had expected to see large numbers of off lease Mirai to be added to the used market in the last couple of months, didn't really happen, but this month 65 have been added so far, almost 3x normal rate.
  11. Roy_H

    Roy_H Active Member

    Finally found out how Tustin Toyota and Longo Toyota are so successful in selling the higher priced used Mirai. Apparently Toyota provides new 3 year free fuel cards with all "Toyota Certified" used Mirai.
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  13. gooki

    gooki Active Member

    So that's how the manage to shift them
    Roy_H likes this.
  14. Roy_H

    Roy_H Active Member

    December turned out to be very good for used Mirai sales, 55, almost as high as October's record 60. But a new record set in number of used Mirai added to the market at 76 cars, so 88 total now (for the 3 web sites I monitor). Average prices are now just over $17k. I am still amazed at the fact that Tustin sold 8 cars at over $24k, more than $5k above anyone else. By far most used Mirai are sold by Toyota dealers with few independent used car dealers having much success. Car longest on the market is 417 days with 20 in the 200 to 400 day range. Average for cars listed now is 95 days.
  15. Roy_H

    Roy_H Active Member

    December Mirai new car sales/leases was 66 cars and total for all FCVs including Hyundai and Honda was 111.
    This brings the year total for Mirai to 1502 compared to 2017 at 1838 and 2018 at 1700, and for all FCVs, 2019 total is 2089 comparedto 2017 at 2298 and 2018 at 2368.

    So the trend is down slightly with Hyundai taking a larger slice of the pie.
  16. Roy_H

    Roy_H Active Member

    January sales. 53 used Mirai added for sale in January. 49 used Mirai sold. Average price of sold cars is $19,163 and average asking price $17,124. I continue to be amazed at Tustin Toyota's ability to sell more used Mirai than any other dealer by a significant margin and for a much higher price. This is true even though most other sales are by Toyota dealers and they are mostly "Toyota Certified" so they get the 3 year free fuel card. Cheapest sold was a 2016 Mirai by Longo Toyota and it was "Toyota Certified" at $13,788. 27 out of the 49 sold were "Toyota Certified". Tustin Toyota sold 15 used Mirai for an average price of $26,486 (including 3 that were not certified), while the average for all the remaining dealers was $15,731.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2020
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  17. Roy_H

    Roy_H Active Member

    February sales of used Mirai are up a lot 86 sold. This shows that the sales people are keeping up with the number added for sale 97 for February. Average sale price $17,829 (based on advertised price). Tustin continues to command the highest prices, but only 9 sold.

  18. Roy_H

    Roy_H Active Member

    March sales of used Mirai are up at 91 sold. 66 added for sale. Average sale price $17,912 (based on advertised price). Tustin continues to command a $7,000 premium, but only 11 sold. 55% Toyota Certified which means they had extended warranty and 3 year free fuel card.

  19. tps5352

    tps5352 Member

    I was just speaking to Honda Financial Services. My lease of a 2017 Honda Clarity fuel cell vehicle in coming to an end. Unfortunately, unlike for the Toyota Mirai, Honda Clarity FCVs (which is arguably the better car, from the standpoints of comfort and features) are not available for purchase by the leasee and are still not sold (new or used) to regular customers. Actually, if I understood correctly, the Clarity FCV program may be on hold? Meanwhile, the Mirai used prices seem like a good deal to me. However, "they" have to improve hydrogen fuel availability and infrastructure reliability.
  20. Roy_H

    Roy_H Active Member

    So you are happy with buying an FCV? Why not a BEV like a used BOLT? Anyhow if a Mirai is your choice you will find prices from $12k to $29k. Make sure you buy from a Toyota dealer like Longo Toyota or Steven's Creek Toyota (or others) and get a "Toyota Certified" version, that way you can get the 3 year free fuel card. There are lots of choices in the $16k range. Strangely there doesn't seem to be a price difference between certified and non-certified vehicles.

    If you like the Honda Clarity FCV, I think you would be better off getting a new one on lease rather than buy a used Mirai.

    I am sure you are aware that almost everyone at these web sites feel that FCVs are a bad choice and BEVs are far superior. And that includes me. So what is it that you like about FCVs vs Chevy Bolt? I suggest compare with Bolt instead of Tesla because the Teslas are so much more expensive. Personally I think in a few more years Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai will give up on FCVs and they will be just a footnote in alternative fuels. After that buying fuel will be even more expensive than it is now. I am curious to get the new FCV sales numbers in California for March as I suspect they will be down compared to last year. Popularity peaked in 2018.

    Last edited: Apr 2, 2020
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  21. Roy_H

    Roy_H Active Member

    So far new FCV sales are down this year. To be expected due to the Coronavirus I suppose, but given the rise in used sales I don't think that has had much effect on the first quarter, will be more pronounced over the next 3 months.
    2020 Jan-Mar All FCVs 291 and Mirai only 147. This compares with average for 2016 to 2019 at 454 for all FCVs and 304 for Mirai. This translates to 36% down for all FCVs and 51% down for Mirai.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2020
  22. tps5352

    tps5352 Member

    Just spotted this: "Honda lumps every Clarity variant into one number when it reports its annual sales..." here:

    So the lumping of sales data for all three types of Honda Clarity cars is not the fault of My apologies to that website and its fans.
    Roy_H likes this.
  23. Roy_H

    Roy_H Active Member

    April sales of used Mirai are down at 24 sold, obviously the pandemic has made a huge hit in sales. 13 added for sale. Average sale price $18,505 (based on advertised price). Tustin continues to command a $7,000 premium, but only 5 sold. 67% Toyota Certified which means they had extended warranty and 3 year free fuel card. Average asking price is now $16,529.

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