On the eve of the Los Angeles auto show, Toyota Corp. announced yet another innovation they plan to bring to the alternatively fueled – cars world: Toyota Mirai, a hydrogen fuel cell sedan capable of traveling 300 miles (483 kilometers) with only one hydrogen tank which can be refueled in a time frame of three to five minutes. The best part? The car’s byproduct is only water vapor.
Toyota Mirai is a very inspired name for an inspirational car, as Mirai means “Future” in Japanese. The name was revealed by Toyota’s president Akio Toyoda, together with a promise we cannot overlook:
Today we are at a turning point in automotive history. The future has arrived. And it’s called ‘Mirai’
If you are interested in alternative fueling, you know Toyota is among the pioneers experimenting and testing with new concepts and hi – tech solutions. The Toyota Mirai has been well waited for, as the Japanese company tried to find optimal alternatives to battery – only cars and expand the area of choices when it comes to engines. A worthy legacy of the Prius, the best – selling hybrid line ever, Toyota Mirai doesn’t represent only an answer to environmental issues, but a rather powerful stand Toyota makes against its competitors.
Mercedes and Hyundai already have hydrogen powered cars for lease in the United States, while in other parts of the world, including Europe, the biggest names in the game are Honda and Volkswagen , both announcing future hydrogen – fueled cars to roll on the streets. In the same trail of thinking, the market of battery – fueled cars is led by Tesla Motors, followed closely by Nissan. However, the Japanese company doesn’t seem to fear its fierce competitors.
Toyota announced they would also fund and provide support to the United States in order to build 19 new hydrogen fueling stations in California. The company also declared its intentions to work together with French company Air Liquid in order to build, develop and supply another 12 hydrogen fueling stations in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Eco – friendly and fun to drive, the Toyota Mirai will go on sale in Japan around January 2015, at a retail price equivalent of $60,000. The same price is also expected for the United States, but we will probably see the car rolling the roads of California only around 2016. While California is taking huge steps in building fueling stations and plans to have a total of 50 such facilities by next year, there is also the problem of hydrogen stock.
Last year, Elon Musk of Tesla stated that the shortcomings of hydrogen are the death of hydrogen – fueled cars and whoever invests in this market is a fool. During the name reveal, however, Akio Toyoda mentioned that hydrogen stocks are not a problem, as the world can create it from almost anything, including wind power, natural gas and even garbage, so the future Toyota Mirai owners have nothing to worry about.