THE FUTURE HAS ARRIVED

| 2014-11-17 | 0 Comments

Akio Toyoda has seen the future, and it’s called “Mirai”. That’s the name of Toyota’s new fuel cell vehicle, which the company’s president announced in a video released the day before the car’s official launch.

Mirai, which means future in Japanese, represents a turning point for the automotive industry, offering the promise of a world that is safer, greener and easier for everyone.

Toyota_Mirai_1The Toyota Mirai is a four-door, mid-size sedan with performance that fully competes with traditional internal combustion engines – but it uses no gasoline. This ground breaking vehicle has the cruising range of a conventional saloon, can be refuelled in less than five minutes and emits only water vapour.

Toyota_Mirai_2In its basic operation, a fuel cell vehicle works much like a battery electric vehicle. But instead of the large drive battery, Mirai’s fuel cell stack combines hydrogen gas from tanks with oxygen to produce electricity that powers the electric motor.

Toyota_Mirai_5Toyota’s proprietary fuel cell stack represents a major leap forward in performance, delivering one of the world’s best power outputs of 3.1 kW/L at a dramatically reduced size that fits under the front driver and passenger seats. The system provides Mirai with a maximum output of 153 hp, accelerating from 0-60 in 9.0 seconds and delivering a passing time of 3 seconds from 25-40 mph.

Toyota_Mirai_7The vehicle will be offered with an optional power take off (PTO) device that enables Mirai to serve as a mobile generator in case of emergency. With the PTO accessory, Mirai is capable of powering home essentials in an average house for up to a week in an emergency – while emitting only water in the process.

Toyota_Mirai_6Toyota began fuel cell development in Japan in the early 90s and have developed a series of fuel cell vehicles, subjecting them to more than a million miles of road testing. In the last two years alone, fuel cell test vehicles have logged thousands of miles on North American roads. This includes hot testing in Death Valley, cold testing in Yellowknife, Canada, steep grade hill climbs in San Francisco and high altitude trips in Colorado. The Toyota-designed carbon fiber hydrogen tanks have also undergone extreme testing to ensure their strength and durability in a crash.

Toyota_Mirai_4This extended legacy of research and development is reflected in Mirai’s safety and reliability. At Toyota’s advanced Higashifuji Safety Center, the vehicle has been subjected to extensive crash testing to evaluate a design specifically intended to address frontal, side and rear impacts and to provide excellent protection of vehicle occupants. A high level of collision safety has also been achieved to help protect the fuel cell stack and high-pressure tanks against body deformation.

Toyota_Mirai_3Toyota also continues to support the development of a convenient and reliable hydrogen refueling infrastructure. Research at the University of California Irvine’s Advanced Power and Energy Program (APEP) has found that 68 stations, located at the proper sites, could handle a FCV population of at least 10,000 vehicles. Those stations are on their way to becoming a reality. By the end of 2015, 3 of California’s 9 active hydrogen stations and 17 newly-constructed stations are scheduled to be opened to the general public, with 28 additional stations set to come online by the end of 2016, bringing the near-term total to 48 stations.

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Category: FUEL CELL, NEWS