Fuel Cell Sales

Discussion in 'General' started by Roy_H, Mar 6, 2019.

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  1. Roy_H

    Roy_H Active Member

    For the world of me, I cannot figure out why anybody would buy a fuel cell car, but Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai are all selling many more than I thought possible. These all list at about $59k before incentives. So then I figured it must be the fantastic lease deals these companies offer, less than $400/mth for 3 years and free fuel. Hard to find any equivalent new loaded luxury vehicle anywhere near that price. So then I thought that the 3 year old ex-lease cars would sit on car lots and not be sold. Wrong again! For the last month I have been tracking used Mirai on cars dot com and they have had about 30 cars listed on any given day. During February, 17 were sold and generally for about $22k. So these cars are being sold at about the same rate they appear.

    I can understand leasing at $399/mth, but purchasing at $22k would be about $380/mth financed over 6 years and fuel will cost $200 to $400/mth depending on driving use. This means the used car buyer pays 50% more than the original lessee for a car that will be near the end of its life in 6 more years. IIRC by law the H2 fuel tanks have to be replaced after 10 years and this will cost more than the car is worth. And of course if there is a major mechanical failure this car will not be cheap to repair.

    So why do people buy these cars? If you, or someone you know bought an H2 FCV, please respond with the rational for purchase, I would really like to know.
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  3. TeslaInvestors

    TeslaInvestors Active Member

    I can understand why you can't figure it out with your EV fanatic hat on. :)
    But this is interesting data point. This shows that people really like driving hydrogen cars, even with the severe limitations they have right now. Like, can't drive outside California, can't fill up at every corner, to name a couple.

    A few reasons that come to mind:
    * Are their HOV stickers still valid? That is the biggest deal in SF bay area and LA traffic. And $22k for a > 300 mile range Toyota certified luxury car that is HOV eligible? I'll take it! It will pay for itself every month due to the HOV fees. Buy cheaper homes farther away from job centers, drive in HOV lanes to get to work faster. $100 extra in fuel costs a month is peanuts compared to cost of living in California cities. Only Teslarians think of saving few cents by wasting hours hanging around super chargers.
    * Also what is the warranty Toyota is providing for these certified used Mirais? Worth calling up couple of dealers to find out.
    * $100 extra a month in fuel costs ($200 instead of $100 for ICE) is not a big deal for most people. The ride quality is definitely better than ICE cars, and no slow recharge like the BEVs. At least I can take it on long trips and fill u pin 5 minutes. I will never take a BEV on long trips. The "you need to reset 30 mins" happens when I visit some places that I need to stop anyway. Teh charging time is always extra.
    * There are of course hydrogen fanatics just like EV fanatics. So a $22k used Mirai may be a good deal for those who can't buy/lease it new.

    Go H2!
  4. Roy_H

    Roy_H Active Member

    I get that some people like FCVs, but it is this last line I have trouble with. If you can afford to buy a $22k Mirai, how would you not be able to afford a $399/mth lease? With free fuel comes out to be cheaper. My point is leasing new is cheaper than buying used.
  5. TeslaInvestors

    TeslaInvestors Active Member

    Well, first the Mirai lease is $349/mo + taxes. But that doesn't include the upfront downpayment, which I think is about $3500.
    Total cost for 3 years is $3500 + $370 * 35 ~= $16500. Minus $5k rebate in CA, so abut $11500.
    But there is also the higher registration fees, insurance costs, etc. The differennce in insurance premium for a $22k car vs a $60k car can easily be $50-$75 a month.
    Some may also not like the mileage allowance that comes with leases.

    Plus at end of 3 years, the leased car has to be returned in a very good condition. If it was my own car, I wouldn't care if the seat got dirty or a baby threw up in the car. So I think, there are some advantages of buying over leasing.

    There could also be a factor of who qualifies for the lease, and who Toyota allows. But I'm not sure if that is a significant factor.

    Or there could be something else going on, entirely different from demand for these cars :) Will be curious to hear from anyone who actually bought an used Mirai or tried to buy one.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
  6. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    A Tesla works in any state.

    Bob Wilson
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  8. TeslaInvestors

    TeslaInvestors Active Member

    The Tesla doesn't work for many people in any state. :)

    I am curious about the used Mirais. It seems many are listed by Stevens Creek Toyota, located in the same city I am!
    I went to their website. They are transparent enough to show the entire vehicle history via carfax. Imagine that, Teslarians!
    This one was sold in auction by Tustin Toyota. Stevens Creek Toyota bought it, and is now trying to sell it for $20,995 with 35k miles on it.


    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
  9. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    First, each should do a requirements analysis. I don't prejudge what others must deal with. However, a fuel cell vehicle seems even less practical.

    Bob Wilson
  10. Roy_H

    Roy_H Active Member

    So the $399/mth no down payment lease option is not available anymore. Just for equivalency, split the $3500 down payment so $100/mth + $349 = $449/mth approx. But I am very surprised to see you have listed the $5k CA rebate to the customer, I thought it would go to the lease company. If this is true then the lease deal is even better than I thought. I believe the Hyundai Kona FCV has the $399/mth no down payment lease with free fuel, so I wonder if the Toyota dealer would match that.

    Anyhow, even with your extra $50 insurance, $449 + $50 = $499 is just al little more than a used Mirai at $22k which with $200/mth fuel (and I think this is low) would be about $470/mth. All this assuming the $5k credit goes to the lease company, but if you are right and extra $5k reason to lease. I discount calculating in tax because you pay tax either way. And if part of the argument is the mileage limit on the lease, if you are putting that many miles on your FCV, the fuel costs will be much higher.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
  11. Roy_H

    Roy_H Active Member

    So, according to cars dot com this car is $401/mth with no down payment and $334/mth with $3,500 down payment, both at 5 years or zero down payment and $342/mth for 6 years.
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  13. Roy_H

    Roy_H Active Member

    Small update. Used Mirai are being listed at about 1.5 x rate of being sold.

    Domenick, I realize I should have put this topic under "Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles" instead of "General". Is it possible to move the whole thread?
  14. gooki

    gooki Active Member

    Nicola Motors is probably buying a few of them ;) Gotta power the hfc semi some how.

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