There are those who don’t believe that hydrogen, as an alternative fuel, is a feasible source. Yes, Elon Musk and Carlos Ghosn, we are looking at you. But for all these non-believers, Toyota came out with an answer in the form of the fuel-cell car – Mirai, which has already seen the light of production in Japan but the company has plans to introduce it in other markets soon.
As part of their Earth Day promotions, the company released the first episode of its series of Toyota Mirai ads called ‘Fueled By Everything’. With this ad it tries to prove how hydrogen can be stripped from cow manure to power the Toyota Mirai.
It’s very clear that through these ads, Toyota takes the cheeky road for there are many who have called hydrogen a bullshit fuel source. So the apt thing to do here was prove that it is indeed bullshit that powers the Toyota Mirai. The video essentially shows how hydrogen can be harnessed by processing cow manure, and therefore says that it isn’t all that difficult.
The Mirai is the Japanese carmaker’s first mass-production hydrogen-powered fuel-cell car, and it comes after 20 years and millions of dollars of investment in research and development. This is how it basically works.
The gas goes through a hydrogen fuel cell stack that mixes oxygen with the hydrogen and this reaction, in turn, generates electricity to charge the on-board battery. The Toyota Mirai is powered by a 114 kilowatt fuel cell stack along with a 113 kilowatt electric motor on board. The combination of hydrogen and oxygen creates pure water, which is dumped via the tailpipe while driving or when the vehicle is parked.
According to Toyota, 0-100Km/h takes around 10 seconds and the range expected from the car in real world driving conditions is about 550km. If you were wondering how long it takes to refill the tank, well you’ll be surprised if I say 5 minutes. Currently Japan has only 10 hydrogen stations, though there’s a plan to take that number up to 100 by the end of 2015.
The car is currently priced at around Rs. 35 lakh in Japan and the price could dip a little with select markets offering government incentives.
Toyota Motor Corporation is a Japanese automaker headquartered in Toyota, Aichi, Japan. The company was founded by Kiichiro Toyoda in 1937 and established its Indian operations in 1997.