Toyota Surpasses 3,000 Mirai Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle Sales In California
【Summary】The Toyota Mirai, one of the world's first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, has surpassed 3,000 sales in the state of California. The Mirai now makes up more than 80% of all hydrogen fuel cell vehicles sold in the United States.
PLANO, Texas — Toyota says the future of mobility will be powered by sustainable energy, and its new fuel-cell car is an important step to get there. The Toyota Mirai, one of the world's first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, has surpassed 3,000 sales in the state of California, Toyota announced today. The Mirai now makes up more than 80% of all hydrogen fuel cell vehicles sold in the United States.
"Toyota remains at the forefront of developing and deploying hydrogen fuel cell technology, and we believe strongly in its potential to help realize a more sustainable and zero-emissions society," said Bob Carter, Executive Vice President, Toyota Motor North America, Inc. "From our success in launching the Mirai to our work in building the world's first megawatt-scale carbonate fuel cell power generation plant, Toyota is proud to bring to market new uses for this versatile technology."
About the Mirai
The Toyota Mirai, a four-door, mid-size sedan, is a zero-emission hydrogen vehicle with an EPA estimated driving range rating of 312 miles and 67 MPGe city/highway/combined. The vehicle's performance fully competes with traditional internal combustion engines – while using no gasoline. The Mirai creates electricity using hydrogen, oxygen and a fuel cell — emitting nothing but water vapor in the process. Refueling the Mirai's hydrogen supply takes approximately five minutes.
How a Fuel Cell Car Works
Key components of the Toyota Mirai
On board the Mirai are two, carbon-fiber hydrogen tanks which are filled with hydrogen at a filling station. The Mirai's front intake grilles deliver the outside air to the fuel cell stack when driving. Hydrogen travels from the tanks to the fuel cell stack. There, it goes through a chemical reaction involving the oxygen in the air, creating electricity to power the vehicle.
When you press the accelerator, electricity from the fuel cell stack is sent to the motor. The only byproduct of creating electricity with hydrogen and oxygen in Toyota's fuel cell stack is water, which leaves through the tailpipe.
The hydrogen tanks in the Mirai are engineered for safety. Toyota's multi-patented, carbon-fiber-wrapped, polymer-lined tanks are built in a three-layer structure and absorb five times the crash energy of steel. In the event of a collision, the system automatically shuts the tank's hydrogen output valve to prevent hydrogen from traveling to potentially damaged systems outside of the tank. All hydrogen-related parts are located outside of the passenger compartment and designed to help ensure any leaked hydrogen does not build up.
A cutaway view of one of the Mirai's carbon-fiber hydrogen tanks, located under the rear seat area
A Hydrogen Refueling Network
Toyota continues its work to build a hydrogen society and remains committed to supporting the development of a hydrogen refueling network. Thirty-one retail hydrogen stations are now open for business in California, with an additional twelve stations projected to open in California in 2018. Toyota continues to partner with FirstElement Fuels and Shell to support the creation of a broad network of hydrogen infrastructure in California.
Toyota is also collaborating with Air Liquide, a producer of industrial gases, to set up a network of 12 hydrogen fueling stations stretching from New York to Boston, with the first station expected to launch in Boston later this year.
A hydrogen refilling station in California
Toyota is also building a new Tri-Gen facility at the Port of Long Beach near Los Angeles that will use bio-waste sourced from California's agricultural industry to generate water, electricity and hydrogen. The hydrogen will fuel all Toyota fuel cell vehicles moving through the Port, including new deliveries of the Mirai sedan and Toyota's Heavy Duty hydrogen fuel cell class 8 truck, known as Project Portal.
Toyota has also established a range of partnerships with both private and public entities as well as academic institutions to further accelerate its vision of a hydrogen based future.
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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