Toyota Mirai hydrogen powered saloon launched in United Kingdom.
Toyota Mirai Available In United Kingdom
The Toyota Mirai is the world's first, mass produced, hydrogen powered saloon and a handful are now in the United Kingdom. A vehicle of this nature has various advantages over its petrol-powered counterpart. There are no harmful emissions from the exhaust as the only output is water vapour, for example. Furthermore, it does not burn fossil fuel which is a fast diminishing resource that cannot be easily replaced. Hydrogen, in contrast, can be produced “from many different natural sources and man-made by products”, Toyota says. These include water and sewage.
How Toyota Mirai Hydrogen Car Works
The Toyota Mirai incorporates high-pressure, carbon fibre reinforced plastic, tanks that store hydrogen at extremely high pressure (700 bar). When the motorist presses the throttle, hydrogen is passed to a fuel cell and mixed with air. The latter is supplied by intakes at the front of the vehicle. The following chemical reaction produces electricity which powers an electric motor which, in turn, spins the front wheels. For safety reasons, the hydrogen tanks are stored outside the passenger compartment so that any leak disperses easily. The tanks also has shut off valves.
The Toyota Mirai has other strengths too. Most notable – and in contrast to a battery-powered vehicle – its range is comparable to a petrol-powered car (about 300 miles). Furthermore, unlike a battery car that has to be charged over hours it can refuelled in minutes. The process is similar to pumping petrol and the number of stations looks set to expand. And despite its futuristic technology this saloon feels familiar. Its styling is reminiscent of long established models and it has the equipment motorists expect. Highlights include the lane departure warning system, blind spot monitor, electric front seats, heated seats, dual-zone climate control and auto braking should its driver not respond to a hazard.
The Toyota Mirai is now being tested by a handful of carefully selected motorists in the United Kingdom. It is also available in Germany and Denmark. If successful, production will increase in the next few years. Karl Schlicht, Executive Vice President Toyota Motor Europe, explained: "This marks the début of a new age for clean mobility - a turning point in the history of the automobile. With Mirai and its fuel cell technology, Toyota is working on delivering clean, safe and enjoyable mobility for the next 100 years.” He added: "As with Prius 15 years ago, we are proud to bring yet another ground-breaking innovation to the marketplace."