But the Mirai isn’t a typical car. Instead, it’s a fuel-cell vehicle, a kind of eco-friendly car that’s been talked about for years but is rarely seen on regular roads.
That situation may be about to change because the technology has matured and more fueling stations are coming on-line. I got to test drive a Mirai recently and got a sense of the current state of fuel-cell cars. I liked driving it, but it’s pricey and in some ways impractical.
The Mirai, which is now on sale in Japan, Europe, and California uses an on-board fuel cell to convert hydrogen into electricity which powers the car to the tune of 114kW of power and 335Nm of torque.
The Mirai also made a brief appearence in Australia last year for the World Hydrogen Technology Convention; TMR had the opportunity to check it out during its quick visit.
One of the many benefits of fuel cell technology is that it is powered exclusively by hydrogen, which is Toyota believes of the most promising alternate fuels for the future. Fuel cell vehicles are also extremely eco-friendly as they emit only water and, unlike electric cars, can be refuelled in only a matter of a few minutes.
Toyota Australia is currently scheduled to display the Mirai vehicles at a number of conferences and events throughout the country over the coming months. The portable refueller is expected to arrive in Australia towards the end of the year.