Toyota Mirai FCV in Silver

There's no such thing as a free lunch. A free hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle, though? It may become a possibility in Japan, says Automotive News.

We know the Japanese government is being plenty supportive of hydrogen vehicles since it will provide about $20,000 worth of incentives to prospective customers of the $69,000 vehicle. And with local governments like Toyota City's Aichi prefecture supplying another $10,000, out of pocket costs could reach less than $40,000 for the Toyota hydrogen car. We don't know for sure that the 'free' H2 car will happen, but with Toyota starting sales of its first production FCV next spring (potentially named Mirai), it could happen. That would also spell good news for Honda, which will follow up Toyota's effort for its own hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle.

The case for the free car is still pretty tenuous. Automotive News, citing the Nihon Keizai business publication, reports that the Japanese government has thrown around the idea of subsidizing the vehicles outright to early adopters just to gain some momentum for this kind of zero-emissions vehicles. Heck, the government would even throw in free fuel for good measure. We'll see about that. To see some of the official hydrogen excitement, click here for a video of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe taking a Toyota fuel cell vehicle for a brisk test drive.