Do you know the Japanese translation of the word- Future? Offcourse not, we didn't too! Until the Toyota President told us while revealing the name of their first production ready fuel cell car, The Toyota Mirai. Yes, that's the translation of future- Mirai. Toyota Mirai will be the first production ready Hydrogen Fuel cell car from the Japanese autogiant and the company has launched a video for the same, ahead of its global unveiling..
“We believe that behind the wheel of the Mirai, we can go places we have never been, to a world that is better, in a car that is better,” Toyoda said in a video shown at the press event. “For us, this isn’t just another car. This is an opportunity, an opportunity to really make a difference. And making a difference is what Toyota is all about.”
Toyota, with their electric hybrid Prius, changed the face of the transportation in the world and many manufacturers considered production variants of their hybrid concept. It aims to bring fuel cells into the mainstream, as they did the electric hybrids, and its first step is introducing the Mirai.
The sedan is the production version of the FCV Concept, which Toyota unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show last year. The function of Mirai is somehow very easy if understood without much of the technicalities. It is purpose-built around a fuel-cell stack, which converts compressed hydrogen gas into electricity. This electricity is stored in batteries, which acts as a power source for the motors. The only emission that comes out of the tailpipe is water vapor.
Toyota claims that the car can run about 300 miles on a full tank of compressed hydrogen, and the refueling takes less than three minutes. These are some impressive figures and can set new standards for the industry. Toyota says that the amount of electricity produced, is enough to power an average U.S. household for one week.
But how is it different from the other automakers who have launched the hydrogen fuel-cell cars like the Hyundai, which is selling a hydrogen-powered version of its Tucson in California and Honda, who is famous for the hydrogen-powered FCX Clarity? Toyota says that they want to make the car a part of its core vehicle lineup, rather than using it as a special edition for selected individuals only, as Honda and Hyundai have done.
“This is a car that lets you have it all with no compromises,” Toyoda said. “As a test driver, I knew this new fuel-cell vehicle had to be truly fun to drive – and believe me, it is. It has a low center of gravity, which gives it very dynamic handling.” He called the Mirai “a turning point in automotive history” that would help reduce both dependence on oil and environmental damage.
The car will be priced around $69,000 in Japan and will go on sale in Japan in late 2015. Europe launch will be early next year, while the U.S launch will be in mid 2015 and in a handful of Northeastern states by 2016.