Toyota Mirai is a hydrogen fuel-cell car that brings the future to us. In Japanese, Mirai means “the future”. The name is chosen to show and prove to the world that the new technology is coming. Toyota executives said that the car and its hydrogen fuel-cell technology will be the first step for the next century of the automotive industry.
What makes hydrogen fuel-cell interesting? We have to know that hydrogen fuel-cell delivers all of the benefits of electric cars without using conventional charging cord. The Mirai seems to be targeted to optimize the idea. The car provides a lighter fuel-cell system, cheaper and smaller options that is come before it. When tested on the actual road, the car was able to deliver 300 miles of range. It means, Mirai promises a better range than plug-in electric cars.
Though has been sold in its origin, the future of the car in the US is still confined to California. It happens because California is the only place where Mirai owners can easily find public hydrogen stations. However, Toyota executives said that his company is planning to sell the four-door in the Northwest, especially if new hydrogen stations between New Jersey and Massachusetts have been built. Apart from such issue, Toyota Mirai is truly a car worth considering.
What about the design? As a future car, the Japanese sedan is trying to offer something different. The car was designed to stand out from the crowd with a daring shape marked by scoops, accent lines, curves and some radical angles. When we try to see the inside, we will find spaceship-like instrument layout that also gives another strong impression. We will just find four seats in this car because the added weight of the fifth passenger would affect the performance and range.
If we are interested with future car, hydrogen fuel-cell car is the perfect option. We can say that this car is the only available option. Maybe, there is Hyundai Tucson FCEV that is also a fuel-cell car but the supplies are very limited. There are rumors stated that another Japanese car manufacturer, Honda, plans to make the similar car this year but we may need a longer wait.
The fuel-cell sedan is bringing standard equipment, including 17-inch aluminum wheels, cruise control, LED headlights, neoprene-look cloth upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, 8-way heated power front seats with lumbar adjustments, heated tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated rear seats, a rearview camera, an 8-inch touchscreen, a navigation system with fuel-station finder, BL audio system, USB port, auxiliary jack, phone connectivity and Bluetooth audio.
Toyota gives a special feature to the car, which is a trunk-mounted power take-off system allows the car to work as a generator, providing 60 kWh of electricity. Such amount is enough to power a small house for up to 7 days.
Toyota Mirai comes as a front-wheel sedan driven by an electric motor that delivers up to 151 HP and 247 lbs-ft of torque. Toyota also put a 1.6 kWh nickel-metal hybrid battery behind the rear seats that can be used when the car needs extra burst of power.
On the road tests, the Mirai was able to accelerate from zero to 60 mph within 8.7 seconds. It means that the car is faster than the current Prius. The top speed of the fuel-cell sedan is 111 mph and it can travel about 300 miles using 5 kg of pressurized hydrogen. 1 kg of hydrogen is able to deliver the same amount of energy as 1 gallon of gasoline, means that the car’s fuel-efficiency is about 60 mpg.
Toyota puts standard safety equipment to the fuel-cell car, includes traction and stability control, antilock brakes, rearview camera and front and rear side airbags. Active safety equipment includes a blind-spot monitor, lane-departure alert, a frontal collision mitigation with automatic braking system and also high-tech adaptive cruise control. There are hydrogen sensors that will warn the drivers and automatically shut the hydrogen tanks down if there is a hydrogen leak. The hydrogen tank is also protected by special shell to keep it safe.
As a four-door sedan, Toyota Mirai is smooth and comfortable in term of its ride quality. Just like in other electric cars, the torque on the Mirai is available as soon as the driver starts pressing the accelerator. The car accelerates quickly from 0 to 40 mph but after that, things slow down. As hydrogen fuel-cell car, there will be no smoke or other substances come out from its tailpipe. The only substance that will be found is just water, which means that this car does not produce any dangerous pollutants.
The existence of the fuel-cell car like Mirai shows us that eco-friendly car is not just a dream. Car like Mirai must be used as an example by other car manufacturers that environment-friendly car has a bright future.