More Than a Million Miles for the Hydrogen Taxis of London
A small fleet of hydrogen-powered taxis has now covered more than a million miles on the highways and byways of London.
The taxis are all Toyota Mirais, which is a four-door family saloon owned by Green Tomato Cars, and all use a hydrogen fuel cell to create electricity and thus zero-emission motoring. Well, that is before we start to discuss where they got the hydrogen from in the first place. The cars have been on the road since 2015—well, two of them have—when the trial began. Then in 2018, the company added another 25 Mirais after initial testing proved that maybe this was a good idea. According to the company, the Mirais have a similar range as a normal petrol or diesel vehicle and a comparable refuelling time as well.
Since the trial began, the fleet of Mirais has travelled a combined 1 million miles, which Toyota claims has saved 206 tonnes of carbon emissions at street level; this is equivalent to 7.6 tonnes each, which is worth it once the world works out how to produce hydrogen without steam-treating crude oil.
London-based Green Tomato was the first in Europe to take on the hydrogen cars and since the test started, they have undertaken over 80,000 trips, with each vehicle covering an average of 120 miles per day and an average fare being about ten miles in duration.
Jonny Goldstone, the founder and CEO of Green Tomato Cars, stated that the company is impressed with the vehicles in terms of their durability and low cost per mile travelled. Maybe this is why the company is now in the process of adding another 25 Mirais to their fleet, making it the largest ‘zero-emission’ fleet in Europe.
There are only 37 Mirais in the UK right now and whilst they will be saving about 412 tonnes of carbon emissions per year, there is still the matter of where do you get your hydrogen from and is production of the gas really green or have you just moved the point of pollution.
Toyota is one of the few car companies that have bothered with hydrogen fuel cell technology and they are so confident that this may be a better way forward for future mobility that they have now unveiled the MKII Mirai at the recent Tokyo Motor Show. This model will be introduced sometime in 2020 and will benefit from a better aerodynamic shape and improved fuel cell efficiency.
The MKII looks quite sleek, really…