Toyota Mirai Test Drive Review Video – Not Quite There Yet

AUG 2 2016 BY MARK KANE 117

A comprehensive walk-through of the hydrogen fuel cell Toyota Mirai, including exterior, interior, driving and refueling has been filed by Autogefühl (a favorite of ours).

Toyota Mirai

Toyota Mirai

The conclusions however are mixed, as on one side it’s solid car, while on the other, there is dramatic/controversial designs at work, with some cheap looking details.

The driving experience is noted as a positive, with good acceleration and steering.

As noted, there are many references about interior compromises, which make it sound as though hydrogen fuel cell cars really aren’t that close to a mass market offering.

Overall, the FCV powetrain takes a lot of weight, space and cost – so the Toyota Mirai is just a four seater, with not much legroom in the back, not much trunk space in the rear, and not much storage in the front.

At a price compared to an entry level Tesla Model S, this renewable energy solution just doesn’t add up, especially as the refueling network is not near dense enough to make the car practical at this point. Additionally,  the prices of hydrogen are also much closer to gasoline than electricity (something which is currently often paid in full by FCV manufacturers to promote their product).

Points of interest in the video (above):

Toyota Mirai Exterior: 01:28
Toyota Mirai Interior: 06:51
Toyota Mirai Driving: 23:49

Categories: Toyota


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117 Comments on "Toyota Mirai Test Drive Review Video – Not Quite There Yet"

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Fuel Cell cars? I thought they gave up on this idea.?

Considering how the sales numbers have been nothing short of disastrous, I would say that they really, really should.

They only planned to sell 700 this year in the US, and they’ll have no problem doing so. In Japan they’ve sold thousands and there is a waiting list.

I am one of the first 300 owners in the US and I commute 100 miles per day in it, and it is an awesome car. Extremely comfortable and recharges to 300 miles in 5 minutes. I pass two H2 stations on my commute and there is another station, just 5 miles beyond my office.

I imagine there’s huge pressure from oil companies to keep this dead horse kicking. . .

For that kind of money the Tesla vehicles are a clear win.

I saw other articles and reviews recently on FCEV, but didn’t bother pointing them out to insideevs since they do not have plugs. Is insideevs now also open to non-plugin, primarily fossil fuel cars like Mirai?

While the majority of Hydrogen currently comes from fossil fuels, it has the potential to be 100% renewable. Granted, there is a huge efficiency hit for electrolysis over simply charging a battery. But don’t go around calling these “fossil fuel cars” any more than we go around calling EVs “coal-powered cars”.

Since you point it out yourself, why bother arguing about the “potential to be 100% renewable” when it does NOT have even the potential to be energy efficient?

Hydrogen cars are pointless. They simply don’t solve the problems that are the reason we should abandon ICE in the first place. In addition, it is incredibly complicated and expensive not just in terms of the vehicles themselves, but even more so in terms of infrastructure.

With BEVs we can expect about 98% of charging to take place at home. Adding chargers isn’t the same as building completely new infrastructure from the ground, and is very much easier to do than to provide 100% via a hydrogen station network.

Governments should stop incentivizing this technology – unless the day comes where it is at least known how it could be made as energy efficient as BEVs. It is a scandal that a hydrogen car gets more ZEV credits than any BEV, and that public money is wasted on h2 infrastructure where we would get twenty times the emissions cuts from spending the same on fast chargers and promoting BEVs.

There is by order of magnitude higher efficiency hit when using electric grid as dispatchable energy source. Wind power purchase agreements average at 2-2.5 cnt/kWh in the middle of the US*. Yet you pay some $0.30/kWh or more on top residential tier in California. It would mean less than 10% efficiency when you account for everything, grid maintenance, backup power source replacement, diesel powered maintenance and construction trucks, and so on. It is much more than simplistic calculation of direct power line losses at 5th grade level. And that is when wind has only 5% share in electric grid, and solar few times less. Wait and see what happens when this share increases to 50%.

I think it should be obvious you are not going to drive your Tesla to wind mill and wait few days until wind starts blowing if it is not. Neither you can use your ice covered PV panels when you return from work at 7 pm in cold January evening.


zzzzzzzzzz said:

“There is by order of magnitude higher efficiency hit when using electric grid as dispatchable energy source.”

Maybe on the planet where you live. Here on planet Earth, the efficiency loss from grid transmission averages only 7%.

However, that is an order of magnitude less than the approx. 67%-80% loss from the energy contained in hydrogen fuel, by the time it actually gets dispensed into the “fool cell” car.

You can make gasoline and diesel from non-fossil sources, should we now consider those vehicles green as well?

Brian said: “While the majority of Hydrogen currently comes from fossil fuels, it has the potential to be 100% renewable.” So does any fuel. Gasoline could be 100% synthetic, none provided by fossil fuel. I dunno what the EROI (Energy Returned On Investment) ratio would be for that, but it must be considerably better than renewable hydrogen by the time it’s actually dispensed into a Mirai. “Granted, there is a huge efficiency hit for electrolysis over simply charging a battery.” The exceedingly poor EROI for hydrogen fuel isn’t so much the generation via electrolysis; it’s all the energy-losing steps after the hydrogen is generated. Compression, storage, movement via truck, storage again, re-compression, dispensing… all these steps involve significant loss of energy, and thus contribute to overall very poor EROI. Frankly, I don’t understand why this concept is so hard to grasp. It’s a pretty straightforward application of the Second Law of Thermodynamics; it’ ain’t rocket science. Anyone with even a basic understanding of science fundamentals shouldn’t need to have it explained to them more than once. Every commonly used fuel has a much better EROI than hydrogen. Hydrogen is very nearly the worst possible choice for a widespread energy source… Read more »

I had studied thermodynamics and some more and may say that trying to apply such broad principle to hydrogen fuel is P.O.S. You just have predefined opinion because your cultie leader told you so and you must believe it to stay in nice comfy Fantasia land, period. And he said so because it threatens his “our way or now way” cult, sorry business, model.

There are numerous studies done on the subject. Just go and read it. Compression and distribution costs in mature market are no way higher than current gasoline costs, when you account for higher mpg of fuel cell vs. internal combustion engine.
It is true that distribution is too expensive now, but it is just because it is very low volume, not because some fantasy fundamental reasons that you can’t specify.

“There are numerous studies done on the subject.”

Yes, there are. And we’ve posted links to them many times before. Obviously you’re just hoping to catch a few uninformed readers with your fact-free propaganda, and your pretense that there weren’t studies showing the utter impracticality of using compressed hydrogen fuel to power a car; studies done years before Elon Musk coined the famous term “fool cell”.

And for those readers not familiar with you still beating this long-dead horse, here yet again are a few links to some actual, non-biased studies by actual physicists, actual scientists, and actual economic experts.

“Facts are stubborn things.”

Seriously.. if you’re going to start calling the Mirai a fossil fuel powered car.. then so is a Leaf or Tesla.

Typical American tunnel vision. I drive my LEAF on hydropower – just like all other EV drivers in my country. Hydrogen currently is 95% from fossil fuels. So even if you look at only the US, there’s not a single state where you aren’t better off with people driving BEVs than FCs. If you accept the premise that we need to cut emissions by 90% as fast as possible, it’s clear that FC is an enemy and not an ally. Toyota and the rest of them say we’ll make H2 by electrolysis using renewable electricity, but routinely fail to mention the same amount of green electricity would give at least three times the mileage if used to run BEVs instead. They are simply indisputably deliberately dishonest in their promotion of this technology and therefore do not deserve the public’s war in the matter. Maybe if we get fusion power hydrogen will be worth reconsidering. As of now it is damaging distraction that has half the public waiting on the fence, thinking hydrogen may be the future, not batteries. As if all this wasn’t enough – the energy inefficiency is alone enough! – H2 cars do nothing to help solve the… Read more »

You do realize right that you’re saying that a FCV could also be 100% powered via hydropower right? I mean no reason it couldn’t be done that way in your country…

There is no reason to do it also.

I am sure it was thinking like that which resulted in battery cars from the early 1900s being dropped in favor of cheaper ICE cars.

Seriously, I don’t get why some people want to put all their eggs in one basket.

Just today I read that some solar cell can turn CO2 in to gas that can be used for a lot of things one of which I imagine could be to power a hydrogen powered car, or truck…

Personally I welcome all the options. Maybe they won’t work but why stop trying to develop new alternatives. It’s not like one thing will work for everyone…

Turning CO2 into Hydrogen with a solar cell ?
You probably missed a very important part of the article.

DJ said:

“…a FCV could also be 100% powered via hydropower right? I mean no reason it couldn’t be done that way in your country…”

There is certainly a reason why it isn’t. Renewable hydrogen is much more expensive than frackogen. If it wasn’t so much more expensive, then 95% of commercially produced hydrogen wouldn’t come from reforming natural gas.

And nothing is ever going to change that. Hydrogen proponents like to handwave away the much greater expense by wishful thinking based on cheap fusion power. What they ignore is the rather non-trivial difference between cheap energy and free energy.

Energy is never going to be free, because there are costs associated with (for example) manufacturing, installing, and maintaining solar power panels. Powering cars directly via electricity, storing that in batteries, will always be a much more efficient way to use energy, and thus always will be considerably cheaper than the horribly inefficient use of compressed hydrogen gas.

Claiming otherwise amounts to being a physics denier.

You personally may drive on whatever, even just sail your personal yacht across the ocean on wind power. How it applies to the rest of the world? You may be in some tiny country with 5 million residents that has abundant hydro and fossil fuel resources. You may sell fossil fuel and get rich, and fund buying of $100,000 cars or pink unicorns, or whatever. As long as you have fossil fuel buyers and can outsource all environment trashing, and have world factory somewhere in Asia, powered by cheap coal, that manufactures everything you need for cheap, you are fine, and can even claim you are superior person :/ Probably you don’t care about global warming either being up North. What it has to do with Earth as a whole? There are no way any hydro resources in the world to provide significantly more energy than hydro already provides. What is left are mostly populated land that is too costly to flood, or places that are just too expensive to build even if flooded land would be free.

I wrote “primarily fossil fuel” which is true as of today. Looking at economics, that will be true for the foreseeable future. BEV also get power from fossil fuel, but not 90%+ like FCEV.

The bigger issue is that Jay or someone pointed out that insideevs draw a line at vehicles having plugs. Then having non-plug Mirai article seem to invalidate that. If you consider ethanol in gasoline which is technically not fossil fuel, all hybrids would qualify for discussion in insideevs as they also contain electric motor.

All California funded hydrogen stations must have at least 33% hydrogen from renewable sources to match approximately California electricity greenhouse gas emissions. In practice it is some 45% or so, and you may claim that it is cleaner than electricity.

You are probably confusing it with total hydrogen production. It is widely used in fertilizer production and oil refineries and in these industries it is produced from natural gas, hence these 90%. It has little to do with hydrogen fuel stations, especially that hydrogen purity requirements are higher for fuel cells.

In 2015, a whopping 67% of the electricity generated in the United States was from fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and petroleum).

For 2016 and 2015, the hydrogen fuel
dispensed at state funded stations in California contained on average 45% renewably-sourced hydrogen. This is substantially greater than SB 1505’s requirement of 33% for all stations receiving State funding.

See PDF page 67 for 45% renewable figure:

Irrelevant. Even if 100% of the H2 is “sourced from renewables” – code for “inefficiently made from renewable electricity by electrolysis” – you would do more than three times as much good by instead running BEVs on that same green electricity.

You can’t do it in practice. 99% cars are ICE for good reason.
You may as well claim you would be perfect person if you would drive bicycle only and discard your car, battery or ICE or whatever. I do ride bicycle sometimes to nearby shop. Go and do the same, or your claims are irrelevant.

zzzzzzzzzz said:

“You can’t do it in practice. 99% cars are ICE for good reason.”

So, you’re claiming what? That (contrary to history, logic, fact, and common sense), we can’t ramp up production of electricity to what will be needed when (not if) every gasoline car is replaced by a BEV? And then you’re turning around and suggesting… what? That we can run all cars on the most impractical, difficult to use, and ridiculously expensive fuel of all… compressed hydrogen gas?

Ummm… Ummm…

Words fail me. This is so clueless, it’s beyond deserving even a Three Stooges’ Triple Face Palm.

As Terawatt point out, H from renewables is awful inefficient (aka, expensive). If they tried to use competitive pricing, it’d have to be 100% from nat gas.

If the cost is no object, BEV can run on 100% renewables, too, except it’d go much further on that energy than FCEV. Since manufacturing and installation of renewables are not emissions free, BEV still comes out ahead in that theoretical scenario.

Yep, you’d be much better off using the renewable energy to displace some fossil fuel electricity generation vs making H2 to fuel a car.

It is already used to displace and surprise! – you can’t displace more than demand. You can’t displace nuclear at all as it is mostly capital costs that don’t go away anywhere if you use nuclear electricity or ground it. You can’t easily displace most coal plants as they may take a day to dispatch. You can’t displace natural gas furnaces in winter as you need to produce gas for them first. At times spot market wind electricity price goes to zero – nobody needs it even for free. You can’t offset it with hydro as there is no enough hydro resources and nowhere to build them except for few places in the world.

These are the reasons countries that go serious about using renewable energy sources are starting to use Power-to-Gas. There are no other scaleable options to use wind and solar.

Congratulations, I think that was the most meaningless word salad ever posted in any comment to InsideEVs, ever.

And that’s a pretty low bar to duck under.

sven — you made a common mistake of conflating national averages, and actual consumption. You actually did it right for H2, and did it wrong for EV’s Yes, around 67% of all electricity in the US is generated from fossil fuels. Just like “95% of the hydrogen produced in the United States is made by natural gas reforming” So if you compare national production numbers to national production numbers, you are at least comparing apples to apples. ————————————– Now here is where you made your mistake in your comparison. You then went and cherry picked California numbers for actual H2 filling infrastructure for H2 vehicles, while still using the national grid numbers for EV’s. As if EV owners do absolutely nothing to charge with electricity that is better than the national grid averages. That is an outright lie. EV owners can and do choose greener energy sources better than the grid average, with a significant number choosing to install solar. Others buy WindSource shares to use wind power, or join solar collectives. On top of that, the states with the highest EV purchase numbers tend for the most part to also have citizens who have supported legislation that has… Read more »
You’re conflating ultra-pure hydrogen used for transportation fuel with unpure, contaminated, low-grade hydrogen used for making fertilizer and for cracking crude oil. The unpure hydrogen used to make fertilizer or crack crude oil can not be used to fuel a hydrogen FCV. It’s a classic straw man argument to say that 95% of hydrogen to fuel hydrogen FCVs comes from fossil fuels, when you know that practically all of the hydrogen for making fertilizer and cracking crude oil is unsuitable for use in a hydrogen FCV. I stated that 45% of the hydrogen sold as transportation fuel in California came from renewable sources; that’s not cherry picking. Using your reasoning, you’re cherry picking by only including electricity from the utility grid and not including electricity generated by diesel/gas generators and by not including the electricity generated by ICE cars and trucks, since plugging in an inverter into their 12-volt cigarette lighter could theoretically be used to charge an EV. It’s all electricity, right? If you have a problem with the way the fertilizer industry makes hydrogen from fossil fuels or the way oil refineries make hydrogen from fossil fuels, I suggest you take it up with those particular industries.

sven said:

“The unpure hydrogen used to make fertilizer or crack crude oil can not be used to fuel a hydrogen FCV.”

I remember back in the day, maybe a couple of years ago, when somebody named “sven” made a most interesting post to InsideEVs. He reported that when Toyota made its “Powered by Bullsh!t” commercial, promoting hydrogen fueled FCEVs, that the manure from a farm was trucked to a California factory where they produced methane, which was trucked across the country to an East Coast hydrogen reforming plant, then transported via tanker truck to Georgia to where the commercial was filmed.

Oddly enough, that “sven” never made any mention of any need for so-called “ultra-pure” hydrogen. Why is that?

I suspect the answer is that sometime between then and now, sven became an investor in Big Oil or its subsidiary commercial hydrogen industry.

And not that somehow some mysterious, previously undiscovered need for “more pure” hydrogen to power FCEVs suddenly appeared between then and now.

But if it was actually true that FCEVs need some sort of “ultra-purified” hydrogen gas for fuel… then that would make them even more expensive and even less practical than they already are!

sven said:

“For 2016 and 2015, the hydrogen fuel
dispensed at state funded stations in California contained on average 45% renewably-sourced hydrogen.”

…which cannot help but contribute greatly to the non-profitability of such stations, as they can’t compete on price with stations selling 95%-100% frackogen.

That’s very likely a significant contributing factor to those hydrogen fuel stations being closed or out of fuel so much of the time.

“Fool cell” cars can be supported by wishful thinking (and firmly ignoring physics) only so long. Eventually, reality will set in for even the most dedicated “hydrogen economy” promoter.

Pu-pu said
“That’s very likely a significant contributing factor to those hydrogen fuel stations being closed or out of fuel so much of the time.”

You’re just spreading FUD. Your info is outdated. The 20 new retail hydrogen stations are very reliable and open for the vast majority of the time. Below is a link to the real-time status of California’s hydrogen stations, showing 19 out of 20 stations open and operational. The one retail station that is offline is actually operational, but inaccessible since the gas station is digging out and replacing the underground gasoline tanks.

Apparently, what you’re referring to is the report last year from a Hyundai HFCV owner which stated that the old non-retail research hydrogen stations were often broken. Well, things change and time marches on. At that time there was only one new retail hydrogen station, now there are 20 new retail hydrogen stations, which are very reliable. The remaining old non-retail research hydrogen stations are being converted into new retail hydrogen stations. There are only 6 non-retail hydrogen stations left, while last years there were 14 non-retail hydrogen stations.

You’ve linked to a commercial website for the California Fuel Cell Partnership, and you expect us to believe what’s posted there is to be trusted over what actual drivers of actual FCEVs actually report?

Dude… you’ve drunk way, waaaaaaaaay too much Kool-Aid from Big Oil & Gas.

And charging from outlet powered by coal and fracking is what?

Still better than using four times the coal and fracked energy that it takes to make H2

Yep, or using that power to refine gasoline.

Huh? 4 times? And Musk will invent flying pigs soon?

Amazingly enough, your refusal to believe actual facts, actual science, and actual physics, does not actually change those facts.

The latest hydrogen breakthrough uses “cheap as dirt” iron ore to convert the methane in natural gas into hydrogen via a process that generates near-zero emissions. The carbon content of the natural gas is captured in the form of high-quality solid graphite instead of carbon dioxide. Some of the hydrogen produced is used to power the system, and the surplus is hydrogen with no CO2 footprint.

With this new process, using fossil fuel natural gas to make hydrogen would be carbon neutral, while using landfill gas or bio gas to make hydrogen would be carbon negative.

This production method would halve the cost of hydrogen since the high-quality graphite byproduct is a commodity which sells for $1,000 per ton.

And the natural gas comes from where? Fracking. Not exactly the most innocuous process. To me, this is bad news for the environment.

Yes. Yet even plain old not most efficient alkaline electrolyzer can produce $1/kg hydrogen assuming some 50 kWh/kg efficiency at average $0.02/kWh wind electricity cost*, and alkaline electrolyzers don’t cost much.


For 50 kWh, Mirai may travel 60 miles. SparkEV will travel 250 miles at 62 MPH (5 mi/kWh as tested by Tony Williams). Any argument you make for FCEV that use electricity to generate H will be argument for BEV. Only way to make it even remotely close is to compare Nat gas reformation to peaker generators, and even then FCEV lags.

And my non-electric bicycle can travel 10,000 miles with zero electricity. So what, by your reasoning battery cars should be outlawed because nobody needs these dirty monsters, just ride a bicycle? You should realize that it is complete nonsense, if you only need to travel in city and to surbubs exclusively and have place to charge overnight, SparkEV is best car. But other people may need to travel cross continent and it is as useful as my bicycle although some people do it on bicycle to prove their point.

Try doing it in any LiOn battery car, at 170 km/h – you can’t because you would be just doubling your travel time at recharging stations:

Nobody is doing carbon capture at commercial scale, because just like everything else in the H2 fantasy it is ridiculously expensive.

And as long as the methane isn’t captured from cows (I’d love to see the cost per kWh following this route!) burps, but from the fossil fuel industry, this is not a sustainable solution. Didn’t you get the memo? We’re using fossil fuels at a rate of about a hundred million times the rate with which it is generated. You might as well put it up as a usage example of “unsustainable” in a dictionary!

There is no CO2 produced using this new method of reforming natural gas. The carbon in the methane is captured as solid graphite, which can then be sold for $1,000 per ton.

That is interesting proposition, but I’ll believe it when I see it. I don’t care much about CO2, but I do care about money and real pollution like NOx, etc. Landfill and biogas would only meet tiny fraction of demand, and rest would have to come from Nat gas. But if it’s cheap and no real pollution (ie, no SMOG), it’s good.

Again, I’ll believe it after seeing market pricing of H without any subsidy taking a dive to $1/kg.

But you have no problem believing that pink unicorns somehow make electric grid clean any time soon and Li On battery specific energy will increase by order of magnitude within 5 years? 😉

As with everything to do with H2 fuel cells: we are just 10 years away from them being mainstream.

Sounds like snake oil to me. I guess time will tell.

sven said:

“This production method would halve the cost of hydrogen since the high-quality graphite byproduct is a commodity which sells for $1,000 per ton.”

What part of “the problem with hydrogen fuel isn’t the cost of generation, but all the energy-losing steps that come after that” do you not understand?

Honestly, sven, you can’t really be so ignorant as to believe this is possible. I think you’re deliberately spouting propaganda which you know perfectly well isn’t true. Surely by now you cannot have avoided realizing that cars powered by compressed hydrogen will always, always remain ridiculously impractical.

So why don’t you stop spouting this B.S.?

“At a price compared to an entry level Tesla Model S, this renewable energy solution just doesn’t add up” – somebody was drinking too much KoolAid here. Most people lease it, and lease price is at some $500/mo including fuel, maintenance and all options, while Model S lease with options, electricity, maintenance and extra for quickly wearing tires would cost around double.

Wow that sounds great! Sign me up. I live in Utah where do I fuel it again?

And I live in Antarctica, somebody please make infrastructure here, and fast. I need it right now!

And if you live there, you can forget about FCEV also.

Or gasoline, for that matter!

Actually gasoline works just fine in Antarctica, as long as you don’t stuck in snow.
Fuel cells work too, I read Princess Elisabeth Station in Antarctica are going to use them as extra backup for wind generators – just like many commercial customers who are switching from unreliable and stinky fossil fuel generators to fuel cells.

Odd that he said in the video the lease starts at $1300 then. Or maybe that was €1300.

I don’t know European lease price details, but everything is much more expensive in Europe, with VAT and other taxes included into price.
In California it is $500/month plus $3??? down both for Mirai and Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell, fuel & maintenance included.

Should not compare Mira with Model S. Should compare Mira with Leaf, Focus EV, or i3, which all of these cars’s lease prices are half of Mira’s cost, and much more efficient than Mira.

Not a good comparison either – you can’t compare 100 mile city cars with cars that can travel long distances stopping for few minutes only, just like most normal cars, assuming infrastructure is already in place.

Thank you for that excellent example of what happens when you assume. 😉

Normally InsideEVs refers to the excellent Alex on Autos for car reviews, but since he’s probably a little too based about the Mirai, and fuel cell vehicles in general, they went with a German guy. The German autopress renowed for being less than objective for anything foreign. Anyone remember the borderline retarded Mitsubishi I-Miev road-trip?

Good point. Alex has done a balanced review of the Mirai with no histrionics. Why not feature that review?

InsideEVs doesn’t want to disturb their echo chamber. It’s a private site and most posters here seem to be OK with it, but luckily, in the long term, this type of false balance reporting and trying to set the narrative is inconsequential.

“False balance reporting”? Dude, your bias is showing.

It says very plainly on the “About” page for this website: “If It Doesn’t Have A Plug, It Doesn’t Appear At InsideEVs!”

IEV formerly didn’t cover FCEVs at all, because they do not have a plug (or at least, the Mirai and most others don’t). IEVs covers them now only because a few rather vocal readers kept pestering the staff asking for coverage.

Thank goodness IEVs doesn’t pretend “fool cell” cars will ever be practical. Doing so would indeed be “false balance reporting”, as well as putting this website firmly into the physics denier camp!

Interesting, @ 2:46 into the video he mentions that the air inlets (outer grills that look like upside down triangles) are mostly closed off and non-functional with only a small slit for an air opening.

I’d choose the word “obvious” rather than “interesting”. It’s an EV of sorts, so the drivetrain (unlike its fuel production) is obviously much more efficient than for ICE, with resulting much smaller heat losses to dissipate. Hence you wouldn’t expect the car to require loads MORE cooling than its fossil-powered ICE brethren, would you?

Aesthetically I find it in poor taste. Toyota went the opposite way of the Model 3 and IMO the result looks stupid. A bit like oversized spoilers on a teenagers crappy old slowmobile!

Interesting, in that Toyota chose to put this oversized grill on the front of the Mirai for aesthetics and styling as opposed to a functional purpose.

FCEV needs to “breath” for Oxygen.

It also needs the grill for cooling for both the fuel cell stack, EV motors and cabin climate control.

But as pointed out in the video @ 2:46, the two outside grills at the bumper corners are faux and non-functional, except for a small slit that’s an actual air intake. These outside grills are mostly a styling element.

To be honest, that’s true of ICEVs today, especially SUVs. It’s that cultural association of large grille with power.

I’ve got to say there is ONE thing I actually like about the Mirai: it makes the LEAF look like a sexy car by comparison!

Yes yes yes…Leaf becomes sexy with dark tinted windows lol

“The driving experience is noted as a positive, with good acceleration and steering.”

So, 0-60mph in 9.6s is good?

I guess they must have an expectation of driving a Prius.

Yeah, it seems many people expect “green cars” to be slow, to the point of wanting it to be slow. It’s like they want to atone for their / humanity’s sins by driving slow cars, whether that’s good or not.

Prius, Leaf, iMiev and other low/mid level hybrids/EV certainly helped in creating and perpetuating that myth. SparkEV is the only one to run contrary by being quicker than all cars in its post-subsidy price range.

“SparkEV is the only one to run contrary by being quicker than all cars in its post-subsidy price range.”

all “new” cars.

And technically you aren’t correct either.

Mazda 3 clocks 7.5s in Car and Driver’s 0-60mph test where Spark EV got 7.9 seconds.

Mazda 3 is only $18K starting. $26K of Sparking – $7500 is still few hundreds more.

Car and driver only tested 2014 SparkEV. 2015/2016 is lighter and different power profile. 2015 SparkEV is 7.2 seconds.

As for their test, you can get far better 0-60 MPH time by riding the clutch while revving at peak torque RPM, but no one does that since that destroys the car. Better metric is 5-60 MPH rolling figure, which makes many gas cars slower by half second or more. Then Mazda 3 would be close to 8 seconds.

I choose Car and Driver because it is the direct site to site comparison.

Where is your 7.2s from and what is that review site’s number for Mazda 3?

Problem is no one tested 2015/2016 SparkEV that is ~100 lb lighter with same power profile. But there have been tests that show 2014 to achieve 7.5 seconds, including one by Road and Track.

My analysis based on torque curve + drag + driver estimates about 7.6 seconds for 2014, little pessimistic compared to actual runs. Then using same analysis with lighter weight, 2015 would be capable of 7.2 seconds. When you factor in the uncertainty, it’d certainly be under 7.5 seconds.

I meant motortrend, not road and track. Here’s more telling figure for Mazda 3 from motortrend: tested 7.0 to 8.3 second.

Basically, 0-60 MPH time in gas car is related to how much you abuse your drive train, something that people would not normally do, if ever. I suspect 8 seconds is closer to what typical people would get in a “race” using their own cars. Sure, you can get 7 seconds with maximum abuse, but no one would do that.

I wrote a whole blog post on why gas cars could be quicker than EV by destroying their cars. I don’t think the link will show, but you can look for “Can stock Corvette beat Tesla P90DL in 0-60MPH?”

So, MT’s low end number of 7.0 is faster than your personal analysis 7.2s?

I rest my case…

If you’re talking about unrealistic scenario on the streets, SparkEV could be slower (or not if accelerated interior wear is taken into account that will result in sub 7 seconds). But for the real world driven by people, SparkEV is quicker than any car under $20K.

For what it’s worth, GM/Chevrolet states the following in their marketing materials for the 2016 Spark EV: “That’s how Spark EV achieves 0 to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds.”

Car and driver shows $18,680 for Mazda 3. That makes SparkEV cheaper by couple of hundred at $18,495 post fed subsidy as well as quicker.

Only if you don’t include the CCS option…

Mazda 3 is base model, so should the SparkEV.

And difference is that Model 3 is faster as MT’s 7s shows against your analysis of 7.2s and it can go hundreds of miles where your Spark EV doesn’t even have CCS charging capability and stuck with 3.3kW L2 charger.

I know you love your Spark EV. But the fact remains that GM is intending to replace that with a faster and longer range and larger (basically overall better but more expensive) Bolt. Time to move to the Bolt.

Mazda3, not Model 3… =)

Of course, that is what I am thinking about a lot these days… LOL.

Point is that base SparkEV is cheaper than base Mazda 3. Base SparkEV is definitely cheaper.

You’re changing the topic to range. Since we’re talking about cost, at least stick to that; there no gas car that gets 119 MPGe.

As for moving to Bolt, I won’t be throwing around / away $12K extra for unexciting regional EV compared to Tesla 3. I might lease one if the price is right and if it can tow a trailer, though I won’t be as excited about it as SparkEV. $12K is 10 years worth of food!

Isn’t it unfair to call me on changing the terms when you make up the acceleration time based on your own analysis?

Now, as far as Bolt is concerned, Sure Model 3 is faster. But with SC coverage, it will potentially cost more than the Bolt.

If you could make your Spark EV work with about 84 miles of range, I am sure a 200 miles Bolt will work even better. PLus, it should blow away your Spark EV in acceleration.

Your claim of $12k for 10 years of food is kind of exaggerating. I don’t know too many people that can live on $100/month in California which is where you live. Maybe you are living on hotdogs and Ramen noodles with that budget.

Topic is cost + acceleration. You bringing up range is entirely separate issue, just like bringing up efficiency.

Bolt may work better with longer range, but seeing how 99% of my needs are met with SparkEV and the rest require a van to haul stuff and people, I don’t think extra $12K will meet that 1%. If I want to spend that much, I’d spend a bit more for better acceleration with Tesla 3.

Tesla 3 has distinct advantage for now due to ability to tow, which could displace my truck and/or van (gona miss my Astro…). Chevy hasn’t said anything about towing with Bolt. I’m hoping final version will allow towing, just in case the lease price gets low enough for me to take interest.

I think musk lived on dollar a day. Dollar a meal is certainly possible, and we’re not talking about ramen. At $0.99/lb of chicken on sales, equivalent of about a pound of meat can be had per meal ($3/day, $1100/yr) . Yes, I tried it for few months as an experiment; most annoying thing was keeping track.

“Tesla 3 has distinct advantage for now due to ability to tow, ”

I don’t see Model 3 towing as a feature available. Maybe you know something that I don’t.

I guess we are off topic enough on this Mirai related thread…

Musk announced that Tesla 3 will be able to tow. Capacity hasn’t been announced, but with such acceleration, I can see it towing at least 1500 lb, probably lot more with trailer with brakes. That’s why I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Bolt being able to tow.

Back to Mirai, I don’t think that can tow. With such low acceleration (ie, low torque), it would be pretty bad. But if it could tow and priced in range of Bolt, nah, I still wouldn’t get one with H stations as sparse as they are.

One additional energy transformation is required no matter where or how you source the H2. There is absolutely no way around that, and with every energy transformation there are compounding losses.

And that’s before you even get the hydrogen into the fuel tank. Then, the hydrogen must go through the fuel cell at about 60% efficiency compared to the 95% efficiency of a battery. That’s strike two.

Strike three is that using reformed natural gas, a fossil fuel, is still the cheapest way to obtain hydrogen despite laboratory projects that may look promising. It’s widely acknowledged that H2 will end up costing about the same per mile as gasoline. In other words, if the petrol car cost 10 cents a mile to run, then an hydrogen powered car will likewise cost about 10 cents per mile to drive. For comparison, an electric car costs about 2 cents a mile to drive.

Case closed.

If H2 requires higher PSI than gasoline to compress, pump, and distribute to consumers. Who’s gonna pay for the extra energy needed to achieve higher PSI? H2 and gasoline will not cost the same per mile.

This logic is extremely fuzzy. Trying just single number – $0.02/mile.
Good 120 mpge battery car (others are 100 mpge or less). 120 mpge = 120 mpge / 33.7 kWh/ge = 3.56 m/kWh. Or 1/3.56 kWh/m = 0.28 kWh/mile. You may get 3.3 cnt per mile on average cheap, powered by fracking US electricity, $0.12/kWh. Or 8.4 cnt per mile if you use less fracking and $0.30/kWh rate like in Hawaii or Germany. It is just electricity, which isn’t even the biggest part of the car total cost of ownership, nor it accounts for extra time spent charging and paying for fast chargers.

Others side of your comparison, take top mpg hybrid, 55 mpg. $2.00/gal/55mpg = $0.036/mile.

Grade F just for this single number.

zzzzzzzzzz said:

“Grade F just for this single number.”

Your cherry-picking of extreme outlier figures certainly deserves an “F”. Or more accurately, an “I” — for “incomplete”.

I especially “liked” where you complained that the 2¢ per mile didn’t include maintenance and incidental costs, but then you turned around and cited a $2.00/gallon figure for powering a gasmobile. But hey, no need for consistency, logic, or common sense when you’re shoveling out pro-“hydrogen economy” B.S., right?

I myself would never claim that the figure of 2¢ per mile to power a BEV is an average, but it’s certainly true that some drivers have reported that cost for powering their real-world driving. They live in areas where there is a low, low night-time rate for electricity.

I can certainly see why a Big Oil & Gas promoter like you wouldn’t want to admit it’s true.

2006: “Electric vehicles are too expensive and there’s nowhere to charge them.”

2016: “Fuel cell vehicles are too expensive and there’s nowhere to fuel them.”

If the H2 is sustainably produced, I have no problem with it. Fuel cells may have a role to play in the future, perhaps for heavier-duty vehicles or long distance travel where fast-refueling is a priority.

Have you driven the Mirai?

If you have, then you would have a different opinion.

Breezy said:

“2006: ‘Electric vehicles are too expensive and there’s nowhere to charge them.’

“2016: ‘Fuel cell vehicles are too expensive and there’s nowhere to fuel them’.”

False comparison. EVs can be charged anywhere there’s an electrical outlet. And that’s one reason why the EV revolution is succeeding: because the basic infrastructure to charge EVs is already in place.

Contrariwise, the charge that “fool cell” cars can’t be charged anywhere, is very nearly true, and that’s not going to change, despite the wishful thinking of the dwindling few and increasingly shrill “hydrogen economy” promoters.

Sure you DID tried to charge your battery car at highway stop from regular outlet, one of the millions? May you enlighten us unwashed, how many minutes did it take for you? Didn’t you get bored a bit while using this “existing infrastructure”? ;))))

You are asking him? Pushi has never been near an EV let alone own one, in view of his total unfamiliarity of their refrigeration systems. He also quite apparently never even plans to buy a cheap used EV.

He just tells all of us experienced owners what we do and how we should behave.

“Pushi has never been near an EV…”

Actually I took a special trip to a Tesla store almost exactly one year ago, so I could ride in a Tesla Model S. Sadly I couldn’t test drive it, as I’m no longer allowed to drive. 🙁

Bill: You’re entitled to your opinion that only those who actually own PEVs are capable of learning about them, and your opinion that no one else should be allowed to express an opinion about them.

And I’m entitled to think you are displaying a breathtaking amount of arrogance, coupled with an utter inability to understand what interests other people… and what doesn’t, from your habit of writing wall-of-text posts which have little or nothing to do with whatever subject is being discussed.

As I’ve told the editor here, unlike people who write thoughtful comments, I only post one-sentence responces to the clowns.

OH ok, here’s half an apology from me then Pushi, I didn’t realize you were no longer allowed to drive, and it doesn’t matter whether its due to a medical issue or a drinking problem for purposes here.

I couldn’t very well expect you to spend any considerable percentage of your income on an additional vehicle if you are not allowed to drive it, true.

Have you driven the Mirai?

If you have, then you would have a different opinion.

My opinion would be that the Mirai takes nearly 9 seconds to go from 0-60 mph. There are better test drives and the only reason that the Mirai could even hit 9 seconds is that it had an 8kwh “acceleration battery” on board as standard equipment to make up for the lackluster, doggy fuel cell.

You again… Geez. First of all, my comment was aimed as being negative on Mirai, maybe it didn’t come across that way. If Breezy thinks that Mirai might indicate of a “brighter” future for FCEV, then a simple test drive should change one’s mind because it isn’t all that great. Now, as far as your “opinion” goes, you really need to learn some facts about the cars before you post your opinion on them. Driving them would have been nice. I have driven the Mirai and it is slow. But it doesn’t have the 8kWh as you falsely claims. If it did, it would have been way faster. It has the Camry Hybrid battery which is about 1.6kWh and it is made of NiMH. It also requires a boost pump for acceleration so the hydrogen stacks would get more oxygen to meet the power demand required. That is combining the power of battery and fuel cell stack. Yes, you are right that the acceleration sucks. But you should really get the facts right before you bash it. Please bash it with facts so EV supporters (you and I) don’t look stupid.

To Mod,

Yes, the Mirai battery is 1.6 Kwhr not 8 kwhr as I said. I stand corrected.

As fuel cell vehicles evolve the specs change. The Honda Clarity went from a 60KW fuel stack to 80Kw and now is rated 100KW. In earlier designs, Honda used a super-capacitor to boost fuel cell performance but now uses a 288 Volt lithium ion battery. I don’t know what the KWhr rating is for the Honda battery.

As far as the Mirai and others (Honda Clarity, etc.) – its an interesting product for those markets that are electricity starved, such as Japan with far fewer Nukes lately since some of them blew up, Germany who decided to eliminate all of their Nuclear Facilities, and, of course 3rd world developing countries. But I don’t see much point in the car in the United States. We have a lot of low cost methane, which is currently being used for large vehicles by making LNG and CNG. The only real modification of existing vehicles is to take advantage of the high octane of natural gas (130), and to pay for the extra hardened valves due to unfortunately, methane’s lack of lubricity that is a benefit of gasoline which the vehicle is no longer using. These Hydrogen vehicles are incredibly complex – I’d hate to have one out of warranty – but, perhaps they’ve emphasized reliability here so my complaint is somewhat less justified. But that’s the point: People who want to use Methane can do so far more directly and cheaply – probably also more reliably. I don’t see how this is justified to come up with a totally new… Read more »

You can use methane directly but it wouldn’t increase ICE (in)efficiency significantly, so what is the point to do that, other than maybe hedge against another oil price bubble/embargo. It would not fully solve issue of emissions in city centers either. It is just regional solution to save some bucks and reduce local pollution a bit in local heavy vehicles like trucks and buses, where it works fine.

Volt powertrain and battery is no way cheap or simple and takes significant space. It shows in price tag, and it is just a car, not F-150 truck. Eventually fuel cell stack will just get cheaper and smaller if it will reach mass market, and will price ICE out. There is nothing complex or expensive in PEM fuel cell when produced at mass level.

I didn’t say there was any great increase in efficiency of the ICE over gasoline, or diesel. I said it was a simple solution. I also didn’t say to pull the volt power train and transport it to a much larger vehicle unmodified. Although, the CT6, Cadillac’s largest sedan, will have only a slightly modified voltec – but done here only to provide jack-rabbit starts. I’d personally prefer a less modified voltec offered at lower cost. As far as the complexity of hydrogen fueled vehicles and their refueling, I beg to differ. My substantially solar powered fueling station for my 2 ev’s did not cost over $1 million as the neighborhood hydrogen ones will supposedly as we’ve been told. Unsubsidized, no one will pay the price. My vehicles are INCREDIBLY cheap to drive, since they haven’t figured out a way to directly tax sunshine (although, they manage to tax everything else). And they are more reliable than ICE’s to the extent that the brakes last much longer, and the engine life is enhanced simply since it is seldom used – plus for a large vehicle it can be much much smaller than an ICE only vehicle and give better performance.… Read more »

Maybe the end result of all this fuel cell stuff is they’ll use ETHANOL to power the fuel cell, so that way you can get 400-500 miles of range with a simple fuel tank,

Ethanol ain’t that great for ICE’s period, so maybe it is much more suited to fuel cells, especially if they can keep the ethanol to kilowatt-hour ratio sufficiently high, even better than gasoline to ICE is.

Nissan is experimenting with their ‘Bio-ethanol’ vehicle, so, if successful and low cost – this to me makes much more sense, seeing as we already have sufficient ‘gas’ stations selling ethanol. Why re-invent the wheel?

There appears to be far less complication and cost, at least from the refueling end of the equation.

That is the kind of car I could live with if I had to, but for the time being I’m sold on my electrics. Besides, the ‘fuel’ is free.