$19,000 is temporary, but a $9,000 price cut is permanent.

Toyota isn't giving up on fuel cell vehicles just yet. The Mirai is new for 2021, sporting a more attractive shape sitting atop a chassis derived from the Lexus LS. Normally, such changes would translate to a higher price tag, but unlike pretty much every other new model debut, the Mirai is considerably less expensive than it was. And for a little while, Toyota offers a huge discount on top of that. Of course, there are some catches.

For starters, the Mirai remains available only in California, where nearly all of the public hydrogen refueling stations in the US are located. However, Golden State residents looking for electric power without EV charging times can grab a new Mirai for $9,050 less than last year. Pricing starts at $49,500, but through the month of January, Cars Direct reports that Toyota also offers a $10,000 APR Credit. That brings the total savings for a 2021 model to $19,050 compared to last year. In other words, you could buy a 2021 Mirai and a Corolla for nearly the same price as last year's Mirai alone.

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The big catch is that obviously, only buyers in California can get one. Another catch is that the discount is only available if you finance the car through Toyota at a promotional finance rate. The report doesn't state what that rate is, but zero-percent financing for 60 months is also an option. We assume buyers can't have them together, but again, the report doesn't specify the exact terms of the $10,000 credit. However, it does state that the deal is only available for buying a Mirai, not leasing. It's also available only through January, as the promo ends February 1.

As electric cars continue moving into mainstream motoring, hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles like the Mirai are still outliers. For 2021, the Mirai boasts a range of 402 miles on a tank of fuel, which can be replenished in about five minutes at a hydrogen station. It offers motorists the best of both worlds – emissions-free motoring and electric power without the long recharge times still dogging battery-electric vehicles. However, with no nationwide hydrogen refueling infrastructure in place, the future of fuel cell vehicles doesn't look promising.

Gallery: 2021 Toyota Mirai: First Drive Review

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