Toyota Mirai – A Quick Preview

Fuel cell vehicles are powered by an electric motor which uses hydrogen and oxygen and thus emits no pollutants. Toyota hopes to lead the market in this segment, and the first Mirai’s will be available in the market in late 2016 in Hawaii. Ironically, Hawaii has no oil wells. All fuel has to be brought to the island through transportation. It would thus be extremely convenient if alternative sources of fuel could be used. Can the Toyota Mirai prove to be the solution to Hawaii, and the rest of the world’s fuel worries?


2016 Toyota Mirai

2016 Toyota Mirai

It would be wise here to first talk about the Mirai. It is a midsize sedan with numerous futuristic attributes.   Among the car’s distinctive features are two huge front air intakes. Their principal aim is to keep the fuel cell cool enough to ensure it to operate.  A sculpted dashboard and high-end readouts are also a staple feature of the Mirai’s looks.

The Mirai’s ride quality is pretty good, and it feels extremely smooth and pleasant when driven.  However, its acceleration is rather poor, and it takes 9 seconds to reach from naught to sixty. 3 driving modes-Normal, Eco and Power, are possible with the Mirai. Apparently, the Eco Mode allows for a more fuel efficient ride.

The fuel cell’s only emits water, which makes the prospects of a reduction in noisome automobile emissions very bright. The fuel cell endows the Mirai with a range of 300 miles on the 5 kg of hydrogen kept in the two tanks under the rear seats, which are made of powerful and tough carbon fibre.
However, several challenges must be overcome before fuel cell vehicles can take to the market in large numbers. Currently, the Mirai is expected to be sold at a price of $ 57,900, which makes it extremely pricey. Efforts are being made by Toyota’s fuel cell division to cut down the cost of fuel cells.  Also, infrastructure needs to be put in place to ensure the speedy refueling of Mirai’s throughout the globe. Currently, much of the world’s hydrogen is being produced by steaming it out of natural gas, which, unfortunately happens to be  a fossil fuel, that too one which is scarce in many places. Filling stations are also few and far between, with only 4 operational stations in Europe-2 in Germany and 2 in Denmark.   Alternatives are being studied, with the US government attempting to create a hydrogen refueling station in Hawaii using solar energy.  This system is expected to use electricity generated by photovoltaic panels on the roof, and then electrolysis would be used to secure the production of hydrogen.

Toyota intends to build 700 Mirai’s this year.  A number of Mirai’s are expected to be tested continuously, and the feedback of this revolutionary vehicle will undoubtedly contribute to the development process.

The Mirai is a path breaking vehicle which may reveal the future of the automobile industry. At the same time, in order to meet the aim of mass producing a fuel cell powered, non-polluting vehicle, and extensive work needs to be done, particularly as regards the setting up of crucial infrastructure and logistical management.

This post was written by

Pavan Kumar – who has written posts on Toyota Cars India | New Toyota Car | Latest Toyota cars.
I am into the auto blogs field for quite a long time. Living my passion of reviewing cars.

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