Hydrogen is still a mystery to drivers, but Toyota plans 10 times more cars

As other automakers plan battery-powered SUVs and trucks, Toyota Motor Corp.’s vision for the future of driving remains a hydrogen-sipping sedan.

The Japanese behemoth will begin sales late next year of the second-generation Mirai, its fuel cell-powered four-door, and ramp up annual production by tenfold from the current model. Toyota’s bet that it can position a hydrogen sedan for more of a mass market flies in the face of rivals wagering on putting batteries into the bigger-bodied vehicles consumers are buying.

Toyota has been slower than its peers to embrace electric vehicles, citing uncertain demand in key markets including the U.S. and technical hurdles that limit battery range and recharging times. While the company has pledged to offer an electrified version of every model in the next five years, and 10 fully electric vehicles by early next decade, it’s also going to keep coaxing consumers to give hydrogen a try.