Toyota’s Mirai is the future, literally

The name of the new Toyota Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV) has been announced by Akio Yoyoda, president of Toyota, and it is to be ‘Mi...


The name of the new Toyota Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV) has been announced by Akio Yoyoda, president of Toyota, and it is to be ‘Mirai’ which is Japanese for ‘Future’. Toyota hopes that this car will mark what will become a turning point for the future of auto-tech and will spur the development of both hydrogen power and its distribution, the lack of which is a very obvious problem to owning a FCV.

For now you will probably only be able to get one in California, but to stop the vehicle becoming a boutique novelty, Toyota has announced that they will be rapidly expanding the hydrogen fuelling stations outside the State. The East Coast will also see a rapid expansion of fuelling stations with a total of 12 planned for the area known as the Northeastern Corridor (New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island) which doesn’t sound like very many unless you can pop into your local high school science lab and nick a bit from them.

Mirai has been 20 years in the making - ten of those in R&D and 10 more in road-testing - so would-be owners can rest assured that most of the kinks, other than where to get the fuel, have been ironed out. The manufacturer claims that the vehicle can be refueled in just five minutes, has a 153bhp power plant, will go almost 500 kilometres on one tank, puts out enough electricity to run a house for a week, emits only water and has very dynamic handling due to its low centre of gravity.

"Toyota’s vision of a hydrogen society is not just about building a great car, but ensuring accessible, reliable and convenient refueling for our customers," says Toyota North America CEO, Jim Lentz. "I am happy to announce that this vision will expand beyond the borders of California and give customers the opportunity to join the fuel cell movement."

Toyota will not begin shipping units in California until the end of 2015 and you will have to await 2016 before you can get them in the Northeastern corridor, and all for the price of US$57,000 which by American standards is quite a lot really. 

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