Published on November 18th, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Toyota Mirai Launched With 500km Fuel-Cell System (TFCS) Range
Toyota has launched an all-new hydrogen fuel-cell sedan that delivers punchy performance as well as offering the convenience and driving pleasure of a conventional car (priced from USD57,000 it will be hard to accept its sharp edge styling and price). The ground-breaking new Toyota called Mirai, a Japanese word meaning “future” achieves maximum power well above 100kW from both its fuel-cell stack and its electric motor. A four-door sedan, the Mirai 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 system utilises the same hybrid technology developed for Toyota’s hybrid synergy drive systems, replacing the petrol engine with a fuel-cell stack.
Hydrogen, stored under pressure in two tanks at 700 MegaPascals (700bar 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. The system is more energy-efficient than internal combustion engines and emits no CO2 or pollutants when driven.
Drivers can also expect the same level of convenience as offered by petrol-engine vehicles, with a cruising range close to 500km and a hydrogen refuelling time of about three minutes. Extensive engineering development has resulted in smart solutions that have enabled Toyota to delete or reduce the size and number of system components – saving space and cost while improving or maintaining performance.
Toyota’s global president Akio Toyoda said 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.
“The future has arrived – and it’s called Mirai,” Mr Toyoda said.
“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.
“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.
“This is a car that lets you have it all with no compromises.” The Mirai will go on sale in Japan next month and will be launched in Europe and the United States next year.