The company still believes hydrogen powertrains will be part of the zero-emissions landscape.

Toyota has admitted that Elon Musk was correct to be skeptical of hydrogen fuel-cell technology."Fuel cells should be renamed 'fool cells,' they are so stupid," Tesla's CEO once said, not referring to Toyota in particular but rather the broader industry that promoted FCVs as a sure bet to replace gasoline engines.

"Elon Musk is right - it's better to charge the electric car directly by plugging in," Toyota Mirai chief engineer Yoshikazu Tanaka recently told Reuters.

The company apparently believes Musk was only partially correct in dismissing FCVs, however. Believing some customers will prefer the comparatively quick refill time, the automaker still sees a niche for hydrogen alongside pure battery-powered systems.

Addressing the lack of refueling infrastructure, Tanaka suggests engineers are working to bring the Mirai's "practical driving range" to around 310 miles. In the meantime, the company will continue its pro-hydrogen lobbying campaign and promote the technology in China.