Toyota is changing the future of the automotive industry and it is doing it imminently. In fact, today (November 17th) Toyota revealed the Mirai, which is the manufacturer’s latest fuel cell vehicle that can be refuelled in less than five minutes and emits only water vapour.
‘Mirai’ means future in Japanese and the firm promises the vehicle will be “safer, greener and easier for everyone”.
According to Toyota, the car has the cruising range of a conventional saloon but also offers game-changing efficiency.
Announcing the Mirai, Toyoda said: “We imagined a world filled with vehicles that would diminish our dependence on oil and reduce harm to the environment. It was a bold, but inspiring goal. And, today it is a reality.
“Our fuel cell vehicle runs on hydrogen that can be made from virtually anything, even garbage! It has a fuel cell that creates enough electricity to power a house for about a week. This is a car that lets you have it all with no compromises.”
Toyoda claims that unlike some other efficient vehicles, the Mirai is fun to drive, thanks to the low centre of gravity of the car. This makes for “dynamic handling”, meaning you can city drive or motorway drive with ease.
The Toyota Mirai has been put through its paces during testing too, performing on millions of miles of test track, ten years of testing on public roads and surviving both freezing cold and scorching heat.
Toyota has also ensured that the vehicle has passed extensive crash tests and can be refuelled with ease. This could turn the tide in the automotive industry, which has thus far seen low uptake for zero-carbon vehicles due to the perceived effort of refuelling.
The cost of the Mirai has yet to be revealed and there have been no details as to when the vehicle will be available to the public. However, it represents the next offering from Toyota, which has proven its commitment to providing cheaper, cleaner vehicles over the years.
Indeed, the manufacturer launched the Prius as a hybrid in 1997 and has demonstrated its ability to deliver high-quality, carbon efficient vehicles since. It is now championing hydrogen fuel cells and is striving to bring them to the mainstream.
Of course, the lack of refuelling stations around the globe continues to be a barrier but Toyota is trying to change things. The firm has recently announced it will be partnering with Air Liquide in the US to develop infrastructure in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island in the US for hydrogen vehicles.
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