Imagine paying just $11,800 for a nearly new 2019 Toyota. Quite a bargain, you could say. But what model can it be? From a Corolla? It would be the deal of the century, unless it shows 200,000 km on the odometer. From a Yaris? Certainly not, as they are currently selling for more than when they were new! So a Prius C? Impossible, a 2013 or 2014 model is still selling for that price.
However, a 2019 Toyota with only 2,000 km on the clock sold for this price, just a few weeks ago, at auction. This model is a Mirai. A hydrogen car whose value in 2019 was around $75,000, but which, for obvious reasons, simply cannot find a buyer in Quebec.
In fact, over the past few weeks, there have been a handful of Toyota Mirai going through the auction line at Adesa Auction. Cars that had been sold to businesses or individuals, sometimes even bought by a Toyota dealer, and are now probably in the loss column of the ledgers. Because the leases are for term or because we want to get rid of them, therefore they are sent to auction.
The first offers made for these cars, which sometimes only showed a few hundred kilometers on the odometer, amounted to just over $20,000. However, because the auctioneer did not state that it was a hydrogen vehicle, some buyers thought it was a traditional hybrid. Therefore, some of the transactions were cancelled. Worse yet, one buyer even drove the car around the Montreal area until it ran out of gas, not knowing where to fill it with hydrogen, before finally sending it back to the auction…by tow truck!
For the uninitiated, you should know that there is currently only one station that allows the public to refuel in the province. And it’s in Quebec, at a gas station in Harnois. An announcement had also been made at the Montreal Motor Show held in January 2019, when this station was about to be inaugurated (it was in October 2019). Toyota took the opportunity to announce that the Government of Quebec would purchase 50 Toyota Mirais that would be used by various departments and employees. Vehicles managed by the CGER (Rolling Equipment Management Center) and that, for the most part, are parked 99.9% of the time, presenting today a very low mileage. Another government expense that is more of a political gesture than a real necessity…
Leased by the Government, these cars should logically also come to an end soon. We can imagine, then, that fifty Toyota Mirai will end up at auction, obviously without buyers. Unless, of course, they are exported to California, where refueling is possible, or even new hydrogen stations are established in the province of La Belle. A factor that could weigh in the balance, although the fuel efficiency of these cars is not so economical. In fact, a Mirai consumes approximately 1 kg of hydrogen per 100 km, and this kilo is selling this week for $17.30 in Harnois. Therefore, it costs about the same as a gasoline RAV4 that consumes 8.5 L/100 km at $2 per litre.
however, oyota still believes in the hydrogen car. A new generation of the Mirai has recently been offered to the public, with a much more attractive line than the first. However, without infrastructure, without economic advantage, and also knowing that the Government prioritizes the transition to the electric car above all else, it is difficult to believe in a promising future for the hydrogen car.
So don’t be surprised if a used car dealer bought a 2019 model for just $11,800. A ridiculous invoice compared to the quality of the product, but which perfectly illustrates the principle of supply and demand.
Will we soon see this car at a used car dealer for about twice the price? Possible, but people still have to be interested. There are currently three 2019 Mirais for sale in Quebec (reference Otogo.ca) for between $26,390 and $28,490, with mileage ranging from 49 to 7,400 km. And if all 50 Government cars suddenly ended up on our market, imagine how much the value of the Mirai would drop!