Toyota will take advanced zero-emission fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) technology to new heights when it previews the second-generation Mirai at this month’s Tokyo Motor Show.
Scheduled for launch in 2020 – initially in Japan, North America and Europe in areas supported by a refuelling infrastructure – the new Mirai will be much more than an eco-car. It has been designed to demonstrate how Toyota’s FCEV technology can help create a vehicle that is rewarding to drive and beautiful.
Efficiency is still a critical area, and Toyota is targeting a 30% increase in the Mirai’s driving range through improvements to the fuel-cell system and the use of larger on-board hydrogen tanks.
The current Mirai practical, with a driving range of around 500 km, easy refuelling in a matter of minutes and no emissions other than pure water. Since launch, around 10 000 units have been sold, while Toyota has actively supported the development of hydrogen fuel infrastructure in key markets worldwide.
The major hydrogen car manufacturers are Toyota, Honda and Hyundai primarily deployed in California, Japan and Germany. Mercedes has launched a GLC F-cell in Germany.
Transporting and storing hydrogen has been the main issue holding this development back. This area is developing rapidly.
Hydrogen can now be stored in a solid form in a chemical called sodium borohydride, for example. Carbohydrates and unsaturated organic compounds can store huge amounts of hydrogen too. Watch this space.