Toyota Mirai Test Drive Review

1 year ago by Mark Kane 43

2016 Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Sedan

2016 Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Sedan

Toyota Mirai

Toyota Mirai

A Toyota Mirai is rare sight on the roads, and the reviews don’t appear all too often. Here is a quick test drive review from Autocar in the UK where Mirai is “impossibly limited by supply.” Apparently, just 12 were delivered through January.

Wheels are driven by an electric motor, so the first insight is that it’s an easy to drive electric car, similar to the Nissan LEAF.

“The car is roomy and refined. Its ride is also notably soft and well damped, not least because its mass is better shared between front and rear suspensions than usual. The steering is top-quality electric power, and the car’s lowness means it corners with little roll. Road noise is low, possibly because, like a Prius, the tyres are modestly sized. There’s a general air of sophistication that shows how Toyota has spent more time on this car’s dynamics than it might have done in the past, to show that a fuel cell car can be as comfortable and capable as a conventional one.”

According to Autocar, the range in the real-world stands for 250-280 miles (341 miles officially).

With some 12 deliveries in UK, Toyota Mirai doesn’t conquer UK, but Autocar probably found another use for this car besides turning it into an emergency fast charger on wheels. Mirai could be a swell car in the Sahara desert too, providing 0.8 liters of water (please don’t drink the tailpipe water, as it contains impurities from the surrounding environment) per 10 km (6 miles).

Source: Autocar

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43 responses to "Toyota Mirai Test Drive Review"

  1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    The article says:

    “Mirai is ‘impossibly limited by supply’.”

    Yeah, it’s difficult or impossible to find a public hydrogen fueling station that is (1) open, (2) not out of fuel, and (3) willing to dispense a full tank instead of just half a tank.

    Oh, wait… you meant a limited supply of the “fool cell” cars. Well, that too. [/snark]

    1. AlphaEdge says:

      Surely you have other better things to do with you life.

      1. Anon says:

        He’s doing his part to point out why Hydrogen is a poor choice as an ‘energy carrier” for moving vehicles around. He’s not even touched on the physics side, of why this idea of using Hydrogen is all hype, and all downside. he’s only talking about the realities of trying to FILL UP A HYDROGEN VEHICLE. And they’re all perfectly VALID points. Oh, and hydrogen is about $14 a kg. at the pump.

        What are you doing? Promoting the fossil fuels the hydrogen is likely to be stripped from, to create it?

        1. AlphaEdge says:

          He sure is doing his part. If the hydrogen economics makes no sense, why do we need anyone to point out the negatives over and over again, as if it has never be spoken of here before.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            Because clearly there are some who have not yet gotten the message, either due to Big Oil lobbying/propaganda, or “Greenies” who are too passionate about the idea of “clean” hydrogen to see the reality… or both.

            If that wasn’t true, then spending taxpayer dollars on this gigantic, counter-productive boondoggle would already have been stopped.

            1. AlphaEdge says:

              They obviously are not visiting this site. We are, and you’re going on like a broken record.

              1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                If getting someone to change their behavior is really your goal, rather than just some emotional satisfaction from posting content-free complaints, then making personal attacks on other commenters isn’t likely to get you very far.

                1. AlphaEdge says:

                  It’s not personal. It’s just tiresome seeing your overly repeated comments in all the fuel cell articles. But here I see people are inspired by you, so please do continue. Sigh.

                2. AlphaEdge says:

                  I find ironic a person complaining about being personal attacked, is also the same person saying ‘fool’ cells, but I guess your comment is not personal, as it’s applied to ‘everyone’ who support fuel cells. Nice.

              2. Scramjett says:

                Actually, they are visiting. I recall Jay mentioning in a previous article that the number of unique views InsideEVs receives far outweighs the number of commenters that actually post. Those same viewers are likely to read the first (and last) comments so Pushmi really is doing his part.

            2. Forever green says:

              +1 Pushmi-Pullyu

  2. Richard C says:

    The Chevy Bolt will be here in a few months, and will have range almost as high. But it will also have the benefit of being able to be fueled conveniently in my garage.

    1. Anon says:

      For much cheaper, more reliably, and you can always switch out the source of electricity and use wind / solar / batteries if you want the atmospheric carbon level to drop even more.

      BEV’s are WIN WIN. Hydrogen makes sense when you’re traveling around in the Universe and need to refuel a spaceship… It’s not terribly practical in a home setting, on Earth.

      1. Bill Howland says:

        Yes – Incidentally, TOYOTA stated the MIRAI is more importantant to them than the Prius has been.

        At least with the Prius, there are certain to be convenient gasoline stations when you need them.

        Seeing as Toyota laid an egg as far as ensuring easy refuelability, it wouldn’t bother me if some of their over-paid Managers were FIRED for poor prognostication when they should have been beefing up/adding to their quite successful Plug-In-Prius.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Based on my own experience working at several companies, this sort of corporate mismanagement doesn’t happen at the level of bottom tier managers. This sort of intransigent, shockingly wrong-headed corporate pursuit of wholly impractical technology can only come from the top decision makers. Surely those in charge at Toyota have been advised by their own engineers that basic physics prevent hydrogen from ever being a practical fuel.

          That Toyota keeps on with this mad pursuit of producing “fool cell” cars which very nearly nobody wants, throwing good money after bad, can only happen because the top executives have made a decision to ignore what their engineers have told them.

          The real question is just why Toyota is doing this. Is it due to political pressure from the Japanese government to support the “hydrogen highway”? Is it some sort of strange, futile attempt to reverse the tide of the EV revolution? Is it possible that — altho I haven’t seen any evidence to support the idea — Big Oil is funding “fool cell” car production under the table? (That would, at least, give Toyota a rational motive for otherwise apparently irrational actions.) Or are there reasons beyond my comprehension?

          1. Bill Howland says:

            If there were nothing else, Hydrogen would be a fine fuel, but current alternatives, of gasoline , methane, and battery-electricity are all superior.

            If the traditional extractive industries didn’t push this ‘pie-in-the-sky’ Mirai, they’d be much further ahead selling methane to John Q. Public.

            As it is, the only residential vehicles
            available are the fully CNG Chevy Trax, and the bifuel Impala, and Silverado. Ford and Chrysler only do large vehicles impractical for most homeowners.

            A simple hydraulic methane home refueler should have been perfected by now , costing the homeowner around $500, and would have at least allowed these industries to participate on what CleanCities considers an exceptionally GREEN fuel.

            If they hadn’t farted around with H2, which requires a ridiculous amount of superfluous infrastructure to work (because we already have sufficient gasoline stations that are safe and low-cost), they could have had a win-win along with the customer. As it is, I think someone will be fired at Toyota since there just isn’t any excitement toward the Mirai, whatever its accoutrements may be. With the world-wide economic slowdown continuing, John Q. Public will be interested in getting great value from his money, and will be less likely to experiment from a technology that will die on the vine, at least in the interim.

    2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      Bolt may be fine car when you are within the range, but “almost” is not proper word for 200 vs 300 miles of range. And these 200 may become 120 in the middle of the winter, and then you will need to spend an hour of your valuable time on charger, while you can refuel in minutes and keep going (whatever FUD local Musk trolls try to push). Sorry but you can’t take your garage with you for road trip.

      1. Bill Howland says:

        From what I know at present, I’ll purchase a 200 mile Bolt in the fall. With an eye toward the Future when LG or others perfect a relatively low cost 400 mile option for the car, or one like it.

        I have to support the “ev industry” even though gas prices are currently embarrassingly low. If I and others like me do not, we wouldn’t want to see this industry die as it initially did in the 1970’s.

      2. Khai L. says:

        At least with the Bolt, I’ll have the option of waiting an hour to charge. Or I can always crash at my friends place, buy him some beer and charge overnight and be on my way in the morning.

        What are you going to do when your mirai runs out on your road-trip? Oh that’s right, you can’t take one.

      3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Well, I guess if your goal is to just drive in circles around the fuel station until you need to fill up again — that way you won’t be limited to driving no further than half the car’s range away from the very, very few H2 fueling stations you can find selling fuel at any time — then you can do that as easily at a hydrogen fueling station as at a petrol filling station. But even then, the $14-16 per kg cost for hydrogen fuel puts it well out of competition with gasmobiles.

        And it’s rather hypocritical of you to complain about “FUD”, zzzzzzzzzz, in the same post where you talk about BEV supporters as if none of us were aware of the utter impossibility of making a hydrogen-fueled car practical before Elon Musk ever talked about “fool cell” cars.

        You see, some of us had a good grounding in basic physics before we ever heard of Elon Musk.

        But as usual, you’ll continue to ignore all the evidence, ignoring actual facts, actual science, and actual economics, while continuing to shill for Big Oil and promote “fool cell” cars.

  3. Jychevyvolt says:

    “You got to know when to fold’em.”

  4. David Murray says:

    And here come the next 100 comments about hydrogen powered cars…..

  5. Stephen says:

    I’ve always wondered what happens to all that water. Does it come out as vapor or liquid. If liquid what would happen to the surface of a congested freeway when thousands of cars are dumping water onto a surface that is below freezing in winter?

    1. Bill Howland says:

      Maybe that’s why they arrest you these days for pissing at the side of the road.

      Seriously, I live in Buffalo, NY.

      You bring up a good point since I’ve never even heard of Rain, Ice, or Snow.

    2. Scramjett says:

      Many years ago while Toyota was still testing the Highlander Fuel Cell test mules, one of their engineers told me that the amount of water vapor coming out of the tail pipe is equivalent to the water vapor out of a gas cars tailpipe. Based on the 0.8 liters per 10 km comment, that sounds about right.

      1. Steven says:

        +1

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Well, it’s hard to believe there would be any problem with water dripping or dribbling out of a “fool cell” car’s tailpipe, if it was pure distilled water. But as I understand it, its not pure water; it’s heavily ionized. I would like to see an environmental impact study of what would happen if there were a lot of FCEVs on the road.

      Of course, that would have to be a theoretical study. There is no way that very many people are ever going to be hoodwinked into buying one of these cars, obsolete even before they are built!

      1. Scramjett says:

        I do hope you are right. But I fear the allure of “gasoline like” refuel times.

      2. sven says:

        Heavily ionized water? Sounds like FUD to me.

    4. Steven says:

      The next time you’re stopped at a traffic light, look at the tailpipe of the vehicle in front of you.

      Notice the liquid dripping?

      That’s water.

      BTW: don’t drink it either.

    5. HVACman says:

      what makes you think regular ICE cars also don’t emit water vapor in their exhaust? Ever notice the dripping water coming out of a cold exhaust pipe with a cold engine or the steam plume from a warmed up car idling in cold weather? When a hydrocarbon is burned, it ideally turns into two compounds – carbon dioxide and water. Hydrogen FC exhaust skips the carbon dioxide part. The other rarely-mentioned part of FC exhaust is almost-pure nitrogen gas, as part of the FC system process is stripping out the oxygen from atmospheric air (which is 80% nitrogen) to use in the hydrogen-oxygen reaction to create water + electricity.

  6. Ross Carroll says:

    Selling people hydrogen powered cars over a battery electric car is like someone trying to convince you to buy a land line phone rather than a smart phone.
    It’s just silly!

    1. Mister G says:

      Or attending Trump University….FEEL THE BERN

  7. jmac says:

    The dreamy, sweet, buttery ride you get in EVs is NOT due to any hydrogen fuel cell technology.

    It’s due to the qualities of the electric motor. Period. It has absolutely nothing to do with hydrogen,

  8. Does anyone know if it is true that the tank on these vehicles has to be replaced as part of the maintenance routine?

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      It’s been stated, and so far as I know it’s true, that the sticker every car has on its driver’s seat door frame, contains an expiration date for a FCEV’s fuel system… the tank(s) and the fuel line. It sounds like a joke to say “A fuel cell car’s fuel tank and fuel line have an expiration date”, but metal embrittlement due to long-term exposure to pure hydrogen is no myth and no joke.

      1. Scramjett says:

        That’s a requirement from the ASME code for pressure vessels which regulators, thankfully, are requiring OEMs to include. Toyota, OTOH, wants to eliminate the requirement for meeting ASME code.

        As a mechanical engineer, pressure vessels are not something to be trifled with. There is a pretty damn good reason why ASME’s pressure vessel code exits and I would advise against ANYONE skimping on that code!

        (As I recall, Toyota’s beef is the wall thickness requirements at the neck and edges, which happens to be the structurally weakest part of a pressure vessel and the likeliest place for failure).

        1. Scramjett says:

          *exists

  9. SparkEV says:

    Toyota should’ve made TundraFC instead of Mirai. Passenger cars are far better with BEV while trucks that need large capacity / towing are better with FCEV. I wonder if GM will release SilveradoFC or SuburbanFC with 12,500 lb towing capacity.

    1. Scramjett says:

      I’d rather they did a Volt-like plug-in “range extender” and then replace the ICE with a fuel cell range extender when fuel cells make sense (which probably won’t be for several decades).

  10. Patrick C says:

    The Chevy Bolt & Tesla Model 3 could be the cars that finally put an end to the fuel cell pipedream.
    http://www.carswithcords.net/2016/03/chevy-bolt-tesla-model-3-be-1-2-punch.html