Toyota release details of Fuel-Cell Mirai

By: Toyota
LONDON - Dec. 30, 2014 - PRLog -- President of Toyota, Akio Toyoda, has revealed today that the company’s new £40,000 fuel-cell saloon will  be called the Mirai.  Due to reach these shores during the course of 2015, Toyota says it hopes the car will mark the start of mass-market hydrogen age. As such, it will be the first company to offer the technology in a mass-market form, whereas other manufacturers, such as Hyundai, are offering fuel cell cars as part of limited-volume trials.

It is a big gamble for the Japanese manufacturer. However, having established the Prius as a game-changer, the hopes are stacked in its favour. The biggest dependency will be price.

The Mirai will go on sale first in its home market of Japan from April. The US will then follow during the summer with European sales commencing in September. The UK and Germany have been cited as the first of the European countries to gain access to the Mirai, which is an even bigger gamble for the company due to the limited infrastructure here in the UK. Across the whole of Europe, Toyota are only predicting sales of between 50 and 100 cars a year in 2015 and 2016.

As a result, it is likely that only a few selected dealers from its 181-strong network will be invited to sell it, perhaps in key areas such as London where there is a limited hydrogen refuelling network.

Toyota are not prepared to be committed to a specific price, but the company has indicated that it is considering offering subsidies to those willing to take up the nascent technology. Sources at Toyota in the UK have suggested that the cost could be around the £40,000 mark.

The Mirai was first unveiled as the Fuel Cell Sedan at the 2013 Tokyo motor show.

Mirai means future in Japanese. Toyota says that this name is apt since it hopes the Mirai will signal the future for a new age of vehicles.

Hydrogen is an important energy source to generate electric power. It delivers better environmental performance whilst giving customers the convenience and driving pleasure they have come to expect from mainstream internal combustion engines (ICE’s).

The secret of the Mirai is its Toyota Fuel Cell System (TFCS) which combines fuel cell and hybrid vehicle technologies, including Toyota’s new, proprietary fuel cell stack and high-pressure hydrogen tanks. Hydrogen is able to be generated from a variety of natural sources, as well as from man-made by-products, including sewage sludge. It can also be created from water using natural, renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. Once compressed, it has a higher energy density than batteries and is relatively simple to store and transport.

These qualities give it the potential to be used in the future for power generation and a wide range of other applications.

Fuel-cell vehicles (FCV’s) are even able to generate their own electricity from hydrogen. This means that they could turn out to be a key contributor to making a future hydrogen-based society a reality, and be a growth accelerator for energy diversification.

From a driver’s perspective, the benefits are more energy efficiency compared to a traditional ICE with no CO2 emissions or other noxious gases being emitted whilst the vehicle is being driven. In addition, generous cruising ranges is another benefit, coupled to an average refuelling time of just three minutes. This means that in totality, the Mirai should offer the same levels of convenience as a traditional petrol-powered car.

Toyota say that the Mirai’s design will be immediately recognisable. The company also promises that it will deliver an exhilarating drive, courtesy of a low centre of gravity and superior handling stability. Finally, it will offer quiet but powerful acceleration, delivered by the electric motor. In summary, Toyota say the Mirai will deliver everything expected of a next-generation car.

Reported By

Andrew Merrit-Morling

Chief Editor

Eco Cars 4 Sale
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Tags:Fuel Cell, Hydrogen Cars, Toyota, Toyota Mirai, Hybrid Car
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