Toyota's Fuel Cell Sedan
The Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan scheduled to debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show recently got its official presentation and name - "Mirai", which in Japanese means “future”.
Toyota president Akio Toyoda, who's personally heavily involved in the FCV project, stated that this is the turning point for the automotive industry.
What we still need to figure out is if the "future" also means "today" for fuel cell cars.
The strong points for FCV, emphasized by the manufacturer, is range of 300 miles on a single tank of hydrogen and refueling time of less than five minutes.
To use fuel cell cars someone must build hydrogen stations. Toyota North America just announced a new commitment to drive the development of a hydrogen refueling infrastructure in five northeastern U.S. states.
"To support Mirai’s introduction to the region in 2016, Toyota is collaborating with Air Liquide to develop and supply a phased network of 12 state-of-the-art hydrogen stations targeted for New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. The states and locations have been strategically selected in the greater New York and Boston areas to provide the backbone of a hydrogen highway for the Northeast corridor. Specific details of the collaboration will be revealed in the coming months."
Earlier, Toyota announced support for hydrogen infrastructure development in California. A $7.3 million loan will go to FirstElement Fuels to support the operations and maintenance of 19 hydrogen fueling stations across the state.
Toyota North America chief executive officer (CEO) Jim Lentz stated:
“Toyota’s vision of a hydrogen society is not just about building a great car, but ensuring accessible, reliable and convenient refueling for our customers. I am happy to announce that this vision will expand beyond the borders of California and give customers the opportunity to join the fuel cell movement.”
Below is video and transcription on Mirai:
"TRANSCRIPT OF AKIO TOYODA’S ANNOUNCEMENT VIDEO
Today, we are at a turning point in automotive history.
A turning point where people will embrace a new, environmentally-friendly car that is a pleasure to drive.
A turning point where a four-door sedan can travel 300 miles on a single tank of hydrogen, can be refueled in under five minutes and emit only water vapor.
A turning point that represents many years and countless hours of work by our team to create a car that redefines the industry.
All of us at Toyota believe in a future that will be safer, greener and easier for everyone.
We imagined a world filled with vehicles that would diminish our dependence on oil and reduce harm to the environment.
It was a bold, but inspiring goal. And, today it is a reality.
Our fuel cell vehicle runs on hydrogen that can be made from virtually anything, even garbage!
It has a fuel cell that creates enough electricity to power a house for about a week.
This is a car that lets you have it all with no compromises.
As a test driver, I knew this new fuel cell vehicle had to be truly fun to drive – and believe me, it is. It has a low center of gravity, which gives it very dynamic handling.
After surviving millions of miles on the test track and 10 years of testing on public roads in freezing cold and scorching heat…
After passing extensive crash tests…
And after working with local governments and researchers around the world to help make sure it is easy and convenient to refuel…
We are ready to deliver.
The name we’ve given to our new car is Mirai, which in Japanese means “future.”
We believe that behind the wheel of the Mirai, we can go places we have never been, to a world that is better, in a car that is better.
For us, this isn’t just another car. This is an opportunity – an opportunity to really make a difference. And making a difference is what Toyota is all about.
The future has arrived. And it’s called Mirai."