Toyota Mirai (2015–)
Toyota Mirai launched at LA Auto Show in November 2014 and is the first series production hydrogen fuel cell car.
4,890mm long x 1,815mm wide x 1,535mm high on a 2,780mm wheelbase.
It has a range of 300 miles, takes 5 minutes to refuel and emits only harmless water vapour.
The powerplant comprises a proton-exchange fuel-cell, 1.5kWh nickel metal hydride battery and single-speed step-down transmission to the front wheels.
Power is 155PS; torque 335Nm. Top speed 111mph. 0-60 9.4 seconds.
Currently a 300 mile refill costs around £65 in the UK. 15 UK hydrogen fuel stantions and 65 by 2020.
Emits only H2O water vapour. VED exempt. UK price £63,104 inc VAT reduced by any available government grant.
The hydrogen gas tanks are lightweight carbon fibre.
Very large radiators requyired to keep fuel cell cool.
First year production 700 units.
Standard features include LED headlights, heated steering wheel, heated seats, electrically adjustable seats, cruise control, satnav.
Toyota Mirai goes on sale
Mirai signals the start of a new age of vehicles. Using hydrogen – an important future energy source – as fuel to generate electricity, it achieves superior environmental performance while providing the convenience and driving pleasure expected of any car.
Mirai uses the Toyota Fuel Cell System (TFCS), which features both fuel cell and hybrid technologies and which makes use of Toyota’s new proprietary fuel cell stack and high-pressure hydrogen tanks. The TFCS is more energy efficient than internal combustion engines and emits no CO 2 or pollutants when driven. Drivers can expect the same levels of convenience as offered by petrol engine vehicles, with a generous cruising range and a hydrogen refuelling time of about three minutes 3 .
Mirai delivers everything expected of a next-generation car: an immediately recognisable design; superior handling stability thanks to a low centre of gravity; and quiet but powerful acceleration from an electric motor.
Hydrogen can be generated from a wide range of natural resources and man-made by-products, such as sewage sludge. It can also be created from water using natural, renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. When compressed, it has a higher energy density than batteries and it is relatively easy to store and transport. Thus it carries expectations for potential future use in power generation and a wide range of other applications. Fuel cell vehicles – FCVs – are able to generate their own electricity from hydrogen, making them a key factor in creating a future hydrogen-based society and contributing to the acceleration of energy diversification.
The Toyota Fuel Cell System used in Mirai fuses fuel cell and hybrid technologies
The system is more energy-efficient than internal combustion engines, delivers superior environmental performance, with no CO 2 or pollutant emissions when driving, and gives the same level of convenience as a petrol-powered vehicle. Filling up with hydrogen fuel takes about three minutes 3 .
The system uses a number of components developed by Toyota, including the Toyota FC Stack, FC boost converter and high-pressure hydrogen tanks.
The new Toyota FC Stack has a maximum power output of 153bhp/114kW. Its electricity generation efficiency has been enhanced by using 3D fine-mesh flow channels 4 – a world first 5 – which ensure uniform generation on the cell surfaces. This provides compact size, a high performance level and a world-leading 5 power output density of 3.1kW/l. That is 2.2 times greater than the level achieved by the Toyota FCHV-adv, the SUV-based fuel cell vehicle which preceded Mirai.
The amount of water on the fuel cell electrolyte membranes has a substantial influence on the efficiency of electricity generation. In the Toyota FC Stack this controlled by an internal system which circulates the water created in the electricity generation process. Toyota’s technical leadership has eliminated the need for a humidifier – a feature of the fuel cell systems used in its previous FCVs.
Mirai rides on 17-inch aluminium wheels, made with a weight-saving engraving process 7 . At launch, six body colours are available.
Mirai has a sophisticated cabin in which front and rear sections are seamlessly connected. Door trims and other surfaces feature soft padding and a high-luminance silver finish is used throughout.
The front seats are made using Toyota’s integrated foaming production technique 8 to provide excellent body fit and hold. Both driver and front passenger seats come as standard with eight-way power adjustment and motorised lumbar support.
The central meter cluster on the top level of the instrument panel includes speedometer and a 4.2-inch high-definition TFT multi-information display. Display content can be adjusted by the driver using controls on the steering wheel.
The flat air conditioning control panel features electrostatic switches that only need a light touch to activate and adjust seat heaters and other ventilation functions.
Mirai comes as standard with a steering wheel heater and two-setting seat heaters that provide instant warmth with greatly reduced power consumption. The dual-zone climate control allows different temperature settings for the left and right side of the cabin and comes with an eco-mode and Nanoe 9 air purification technology. Three interior colour-ways are available.
Mirai’s high-output Toyota FC Stack and optimal battery power control drive the electric motor and ensure powerful response at all vehicle speeds. The driver experiences an immediate increase in torque at the first press of the throttle pedal and smooth acceleration thereafter.
Handling stability and ride comfort are secured by the location of major parts, such as the Toyota FC stack and high-pressure hydrogen fuel tanks centrally beneath the floor. This creates a low centre of gravity and superior front/rear weight distribution. Mirai also has a high-rigidity body, with particular attention to rigidity around the rear suspension.
A full under-floor cover and aerodynamically designed clearance lights reduce wind resistance and contribute to overall fuel efficiency and handling stability. Aero fins designed into the side of the rear combination lamps also play a part in improving straight-line stability.
Mirai is exceptionally quiet at all speeds, thanks to the electric motor, low wind noise, the full sealing of all body parts and the strategic use of sound-absorbing and sound-blocking materials around the cabin, including noise-reducing glass in the windscreen and door windows.
The driver can make use of Bs (brake support) mode, which makes efficient use of regenerative braking and improves braking performance when a significant reduction in vehicle speed is required, for example when driving on a long downhill section of road.
|Track – front (mm)||1,535|
|Track – rear (mm)||1,545|
|Minimum ground clearance (mm)||130|
|Interior length (mm)||2,040|
|Interior width (mm)||1,465|
|Interior height (mm)||1,185|
|Kerb weight (kg)||1,850|
Only 12 Mirai cars to be imported in 2015, then 18 a year from 2016. UK 700bar hydrogen fuel stations include:
Teddington: Q4 2015
CEME East London: Q1 2016
Sheffield (wind powered): Q1 2016
Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell saloon confirmed as eligible for £5,000 Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) Government grant support, in recognition of its zero emissions performance. This brings the price down to £61,000.