Hydrogen-powered cars become a reality

Hydrogen-powered cars become a reality

Toyota has launched an all-new hydrogen fuel-cell sedan that delivers maximum power well above 100kW with a range of 500km.

The all-new four door sedan – called Mirai, a Japanese word meaning “future” – has the cruising range of a conventional sedan, can be refuelled in less than five minutes and emits only water vapour when driven.

The Toyota fuel-cell system (TFCS), which enables the Mirai to produce its own electricity, incorporates world-first technology and several world-leading systems, including for power density and hydrogen storage density.

The way it works is hydrogen, stored under pressure in two tanks at 700 MegaPascals (700 bar or 10,000psi) is fed into the fuel-cell stack where it is combined with oxygen to create a chemical reaction that produces electricity to power the vehicle.

Drivers can also expect a cruising range close to 500km and a hydrogen refuelling time of about three minutes.

Toyota’s global president Akio Toyoda says the launch of Mirai is a turning point in the automotive industry – a new age where hydrogen is used as a fuel to generate electricity.

“We imagined a world filled with vehicles that would diminish our dependence on oil and reduce harm to the environment. It was a bold, but inspiring goal – and today it is a reality,” Toyoda says.

“Our fuel cell vehicle runs on hydrogen that can be made from virtually anything, even garbage! It has a fuel cell that creates enough electricity to power a house for about a week,” he notes.

The Mirai will go on sale in Japan next month and will be launched in Europe and the United States next year.

There are no plans to offer the car in Australia or Ndw Zealand ahead of the development of an appropriate hydrogen-refuelling infrastructure.

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