Toyota Motor Corporation has confirmed it will launch its all-new ‘Mirai’ hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (FCV) in Japan next month.
To be launched on 15th December, the vehicle (pictured) will be sold through Toyota and Toyopet dealers.
Toyota claims the Mirai signals the start of a new age of vehicles; Mirai is itself the Japanese word for ‘future’.
The vehicle uses the Toyota Fuel Cell System (TFCS), which features both fuel cell technology and hybrid technology, and includes Toyota’s new proprietary FC Stack and high-pressure hydrogen tanks. The TFCS is more energy efficient than internal combustion engines and emits no CO2 or substances of concern (SOCs) when driven.
Drivers can also expect the same level of convenience as offered by gasoline engine vehicles, with a generous cruising range of 650km (according to Toyota measurements taken based on the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism’s JC08 test cycle) and a hydrogen refuelling time of about three minutes.
The system provides better energy efficiency than internal combustion engines, superior environmental performance with no emissions of CO2 or SOCs when driving, and the same level of convenience as gasoline engine vehicles with a cruising range of and a hydrogen refuelling time of about three minutes.
Sales of the new vehicle will begin in areas where hydrogen stations are in place, and in surrounding areas.
One company that has welcomed the launch is energy storage and clean fuel company, ITM Power. The biggest hurdle for fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) is a lack of hydrogen refuelling stations, but Graham Cooley, CEO of ITM Power, believes the vehicle’s upcoming debut brings the market one step closer to fruition.
He said, “We are delighted see the world’s largest car manufacturer committing to a clean energy future. Toyota also understands the importance of supporting the development of a new hydrogen infrastructure globally alongside the roll-out of their groundbreaking new vehicle.”
“I believe that the hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles are now one step closer to becoming the mainstream.”
To support Mirai’s introduction to the US in 2016, Toyota is to supply 12 state-of-the-art hydrogen stations in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.