Toyota has entered a market of longest-range ZEVs with the new Mirai. The car runs on a hydrogen fuel cell and excels the Tesla Model S in a range. As Toyota reports, the Mirai is rated at 312 miles per tank while the Model S can cover 270 miles per tank.
Such figures are really a remarkable achievement both for the automaker and the whole automobile industry. You see, it’s a challenge to make a tank for hydrogen. It should be either rather large or high-pressure-resistant, saying nothing of its cost that’s measured in millions of dollars. Thankfully, Toyota’s Mirai doesn’t cost so much (its price amounts to $60,000).
As a quick refresher, a fuel cell, invented in the 1830s, is a device that transforms chemical energy into electrical power using hydrogen and oxygen (or another oxidant). As its only waste product is water, this technology starts to be used in modern vehicles to avoid emitting tailpipe pollutants such as hydrocarbons, lead, ozone, carbon monoxide, etc. that are detrimental for human health and the environment.
Toyota truly believes that hydrogen cars, not those running on batteries, are the future at least because it takes a couple of minutes to refuel them unlike electric vehicles that need a few hours to be recharged. However, both types of vehicles have the same problem – the lack of refuelling and recharging stations. Regarding this, the California authorities have undertaken to set up 100 hydrogen fuel stations so far, 46 of which are expected by the end of the year.