Toyota's Mirai: the future of fuel cell vehicles

Toyota will launch its all-new Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in Japan on 15 December, before introducing it in the UK and other selected European markets in 2015. Mirai – the name means future in Japanese – signals the start of a new age of vehicles. It uses hydrogen, an important future energy source, to generate electric power, delivering better environmental performance while giving customers the convenience and driving pleasure they expect from any car.

Mirai uses the Toyota Fuel Cell System (TFCS), which brings together fuel cell and hybrid technologies. It includes Toyota's new, proprietary fuel cell stack and high-pressure hydrogen tanks. The TFCS is more energy efficient than internal combustion engines and emits no CO2 or pollutants when the vehicle is driven. With a hydrogen refuelling time of around three minutes, the aim is to provide the same level of convenience as a petrol-powered car.

Hydrogen has the benefit of being able to be generated from many different natural sources and man-made by products – even sewage sludge. It can also be created from water using natural, renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. When compressed, it has a higher energy density than batteries and it is relatively easy 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) can generate their own electricity from hydrogen, which means they can be a key contributor to making a future hydrogen-based society a reality and accelerating energy diversification.

The Mirai will be manufactured at Toyota's Motomachi plant in Japan, with expected numbers of 50 to 100 cars a year in 2015 and 2016. We are waiting on pricing and the full spec. The UK launch is in September 2015.

www.toyota.co.uk

Share this