Petrol based fuel is common. But, as we move into a future where petrol supplies dwindle, car manufacturers will have to find newer ways to power vehicles.
Fortunately, that’s already happened. Over the past few decades, car manufacturers spent plenty of resources researching, developing and actually implementing alternative fuel technologies. Electric cars are one notable result from their efforts, but there’s another fruit that resulted from the auto industry’s labors regarding alternative fuels.
A vehicle for the future – the Toyota Mirai
Hydrogen-powered vehicles. Although hydrogen doesn’t naturally occur on our planet, it’s produced from methane and can later be used as a fuel for vehicles.
And, that’s where our story starts. Toyota notably spent the past few decades working on the first hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles. Now, they’re ready to release the result of their efforts to the commercial auto market: the Toyota Mirai.
Named the Japanese word for ‘future,’ the Toyota Mirai is hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicle, first unveiled at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show in November. It represents the past few decades worth of research and development in regards to hydrogen-powered vehicles.
Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda gave more details about how the Mirai will operate. The car is expected to ‘run for 300 miles on just a single tank of hydrogen, since the [hydrogen] cell creates enough electricity to power a home for an entire week.’
The car’s low center of gravity is also said to give it ‘dynamic handling’ when in use.
The Toyota Mirai uses the Toyota Fuel Cell System, featuring their proprietary hybrid and fuel cell technology, including their fuel cell stack, FC boost converter and high pressure hydrogen tanks. This system is considered more ‘energy efficient’ than internal combustion systems, and doesn’t emit any questionable substances or CO2 when in operation.
And, it’s set to arrive in the northeastern United States by 2016.
A market rollout
Japan will see the Mirai hit the market first, starting December 15, 2014. After that, Mirai sales are set to start in California by mid-2015, before five northeastern states will receive the vehicle in 2016. The regions where sales will ‘strategically’ take place are influenced by the placement of current hydrogen fueling infrastructure.
Hydrogen fueling stations are expected to be placed in the greater Boston and New York areas, enabling the five aforementioned states – Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey and New York – to have access. 19 refueling stations are set to be placed throughout California.
Toyota is expected to release more information about the projected timeline in the next few months.