The 2015 Toyota Mirai Is A Car From The Future We Will Probably Never Come Close To
Look at it! Some would say that its exterior would provoke love it or hate it reactions, but it seems that it can provoke only the latter. So it’s hate it or hate it! While its look clearly isn’t something that will attract buyers, it will surely provoke some reactions and nicely introduce itself to the crowd. Why is that important? As a production version of the Toyota FCV concept car, the Toyota Mirai is a fuel cell powered vehicle which means it uses hydrogen as propulsion with water as the only “waste” product!
Toyota and many other manufacturers have experimented with the production of the fuel cell vehicles for quite some time. Interestingly, right now, Hyundai is one of the few manufacturers who offer Fuel Cell car for the market. They sell the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell in California and that is about it. Why only in California? Well, it turns out that infrastructure for hydrogen isn’t exactly developed so the buyers are quite limited in using the fuel cell cars.
The same story goes for the 2015 Toyota Mirai! However, being the first available Toyota Fuel cell car, the Mirai definitely brought some interesting innovations to the market.
First off all, the Mirai received an advanced version of the Toyota Fuel Cell Stack. The stack is basically a place where oxygen and hydrogen mix creating electricity in the process. Highly advanced fuel cell stack has been created over the past five years and the Toyota built fuel cell system is officially the most power dense fuel stack in the world. It is reported that the fuel stack can provide enough energy for an electric engine with a power output of 114 kw. Basically, the Toyota Fuel Cell Stack can provide 2 kW per 1 kilogram of fuel cells which is unprecedented in the world.
Once electricity has been produced it can charge the nickel metal hydride battery (the same found on the Camry Hybrid) and it can power the 113 kW engine. With it, the Mirai as a four door saloon is able to hit 60 mph in 9 seconds, while two full pressurized hydrogen tanks can provide enough electricity for 300 miles. After the tanks are depleted, the refueling process is as simple as the petrol refueling process. Moreover, the entire process should take less than 5 minutes.
Apart from the fast that the production of this car is many times more complex than the production of the usual petrol powered vehicle, the 2015 Toyota Mirai faces the problem related with the hydrogen stations. Toyota set on a path to make twelve stations with its partners in New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Connecticut, but even with all of them operable, the problem of finding the most abundant in the universe is still a big one.
Although the 2015 Toyota Mirai isn’t the most expensive car or even the prettiest, it is certainly a mobile advertisement for the Toyota engineer expertize. This car will never reach significant production numbers and the probability of creating fully usable hydrogen propelled car in the future stays slim to say the least. However, it is nice to know that technology like this does exist. Imagine, hydrogen could be almost free of charge, producing electricity in the fuel cells creates only water and the power output is certainly good enough to propel the car. The world could become a better place one day.