Toyota's President and CEO, Akio Toyoda, said in a video message ahead  of the Los Angeles Auto Show, that the Mirai is a chance for Toyota to  make a fundamental difference in the auto industry, and bring fuel-cell  vehicles into the mainstream, Xinhua reported.

He added that it is a paradigm shift in the industry. Some experts have  equated it with the 1997 launch of its then game-changing Prius hybrid.

"For us, this isn't just another car. This is an opportunity, an  opportunity to really make a difference. And making a difference is what  Toyota is all about," Toyoda said.

"All of us at Toyota believe in a future that will be safer, greener and  easier for everyone," he added.

According to him, the car can travel up to 500 km on a single tank of  compressed hydrogen, with refueling at a charging station taking a mere five minutes.

Toyoda himself explained how the car's fuel cells convert hydrogen gas  into electricity, which is stored in batteries, with the only emissions  being water vapour.

He said that the Mirai's fully-charged tank could generate the  equivalent amount of electricity to supply a typical household for one  week.

Toyota said Mirai will hit markets in Japan later this year and will be  available in Europe early next year. By the summer of 2015 it will go on  sale on the west coast of the United States and be available in the  northeast by around 2016.

The car will come with a price tag of around 7 million yen (about  USD 60,000).