Automotive

Published on October 22nd, 2019 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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TOYOTA MIRAI drives a million miles in London

Elon Musk stated in a CNBC press conference in February this year that Fuel Cell technology is ‘mind-bogglingly stupid’! He probably saw the threat that this technology will have against his beloved battery power Tesla’s which might be obsolete very soon.

Toyota motor has just showed the dozens of attending media at its preview press conference that their hydrogen fuel cell technology is here to stay and they will be employing it across their range of vehicles in due time. Meanwhile they will continue with battery electric powered vehicles for all segments and this includes personal mobility vehicles as well.

A fleet of 27 hydrogen fuel cell Toyota Mirai cars operated by Green Tomato Cars in London has driven a milestone one million zero-emission miles in and around the capital, saving a massive 206 tonnes of CO2, with zero NOx. Each Mirai has saved more than four times its own weight in CO2, equivalent to 7.6 tonnes per car, over this distance. This contrasts with average new car UK emissions of 120.1g/Km*.

This UK first has largely been achieved in the 18 months since the private hire company took on 25 Mirai after starting a trial with two cars in 2015. Building on this success, Green Tomato Cars has added a further 25 Mirai to its fleet this month, giving it the largest zero-emission passenger fleet in the UK.

The Mirai is the flagship of the company’s Zero Emission Executive service, serving 2,000 corporate clients. Green Tomato Cars was the first company of its kind in Europe to take on hydrogen fuel cell cars and has carried 80,000 passengers in Toyota’s ground-breaking fuel cell EV. Each car drives an average of 120 miles per day, with average fare-paying journeys of 8-10 miles.

Jonny Goldstone, founder and CEO of Green Tomato Cars, said: “We’ve been really impressed by the performance of our Mirai fleet and are very proud to have clocked up the magic one million zero-emission miles in these unique cars. Our passengers love them because it means they can travel as responsibly as possible, and so do our drivers. Running costs are comparable with a Prius and re-fuelling takes the same time as a conventional petrol car. We’re rolling out the next 25 Mirai onto our fleet right now and hopefully there will be still more to come.”

Toyota’s fuel cell EV works by converting hydrogen to electricity to run its electric motors. The car is filled up at a hydrogen pump in the same way as a petrol or diesel car, with no charging needed. The only thing which comes out of the exhaust is pure water.

There are currently 137 Toyota Mirai on the road in the UK and combined they will soon break the two million mile mark, which will save approximately 412 tonnes of CO2, emitting only harmless pure water.

The total of hydrogen fuelling stations in the UK today is 11, where hydrogen is produced by electrolysis from water, on site. ITM Power, the largest operator of these, will be opening a new station at Gatwick shortly.

Toyota Mirai 2020 cabin
Toyota Mirai 2020 concept side
Toyota Mirai 2020 concept rear
Toyota Mirai 2020 concept front

The Mirai, which means “Future” in Japanese, has proved particularly attractive to business leaders wanting to do their part in starting an energy revolution to protect the environment. In addition to Green Tomato Cars, the Metropolitan Police has 21 cars which have covered 260,864 miles and in Aberdeen there are 32 Mirais operated by users including the County and City Councils and the Co-Wheels Car Club. The innovative fuel cell cars have also been taken on by educational establishments such as University College London and Imperial College, by museums, including the Natural History Museum and Science Museum, and by organisations such as Transport for London and JCB.


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