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Akio Toyoda Announces Name of Fuel Cell Saloon in Web Video

Akio Toyoda has seen the future, and it’s called “Mirai”. That’s the name of Toyota’s new fuel cell vehicle, which the company’s president announced in a video released the day before the car’s official launch.

Mirai, which means future in Japanese, represents a turning point for the automotive industry, offering the promise of a world that is safer, greener and easier for everyone. This ground breaking vehicle has the cruising range of a conventional saloon, can be refuelled in less than five minutes and emits only water vapour. In Akio Toyoda’s words: “This is a car that lets you have it all with no compromises.”


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 refuelled in under five minutes and emit only water vapour.

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 centre 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.

Vehicle Car Automotive design Toyota Mid-size car


Vehicle Car Automotive design Technology Auto show
 

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Our fuel cell vehicle runs on hydrogen that can be made from virtually anything, even garbage!
This is the line that interests me... You can make hydrogen from garbage without using any fossil fuels at all?
 

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Surely the production car will not look like that! In fact, surely no car should look like that!
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I quite like it, actually. Expect Toyota will tone it down though.
 

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£40000 - not too bad, but a tad on the high side (given that that is a subsidised price anyway).

Working on the basis that, outside tax-meddling, the price of fuel is determined by the amount of energy required to get it into your tank is it actually viable to build a "hydrogen economy", or does it require so much energy to steam-reform the gas that you may as well just burn the gas in your car in the first place?
 

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That kind of looks like it's been styled by an 8 year old with a (slightly broken) etch-a-sketch.

Or someone obsessed with manga.
 

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does it require so much energy to steam-reform the gas that you may as well just burn the gas in your car in the first place?
Yes.

Although that doesn't get you local zero emissions which the hydrogen option does. That's about it's only advantage over a natural gas burning car.
 
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So it looks like the Mirai has a Chademo socket, in the boot!

Watch Auto part Titanium Metal Vehicle


Skip to 1:12 in the video. Looks to be part of a similar 'Car to Home' power system to that which Nissan also offers in Japan.
 

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Perhaps you plug it in and it makes hydrogen. :p
That's it! You fill up the tank with water, but you have to plug it in so that the hydrogen extraction unit can run, and the waste product is, um, water.
Those large flat bulky things under the floor are, um, the extraction unit. Yes, they look like batteries, but they're definitely not. Except for the batteries to run the, you know, hydrogen extraction unit thing.
Yeah. That's definitely it.
 

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£40k.... I wonder if that could get you the 2016/17 LEAF with a 250-300 mile range (with some change left over).
 

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I think it's really interesting how easily the media swallow fuel cell vehicles and infrastructure compared to battery and electricity infrastructure.
The only benefit of hydrogen that I can see is that it would be ideal for people that do not have off road parking.

On the other hand when we get to have EVs with 300+ mile range, 150+kW recharging stations and an abundance of destination charging and workplace charging. Will we need hydrogen?

But as we all know, hydrogen is being pushed by the oil companies. I've lost count of how many people that have said to me "oh you have an electric car do you? Cool. But hydrogen is the future isn't it...."
 

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.. I've lost count of how many people that have said to me "oh you have an electric car do you? Cool. But hydrogen is the future isn't it...."
30 years ago the same people would say "oh you have a diesel car do you? cool. But Battery Electric is the future isn't it .. " !!

I too get this a lot, but anyone who spouts this b***ox to me gets an instant science interrogation to see if they have any idea what they are talking about, whether its about the hopeless inefficiency of fool cells, or if they understand anything about politics / taxation of distributed fuel / compliance cars etc etc. So far 100% have no idea about their assertion ..
 

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I think it's really interesting how easily the media swallow fuel cell vehicles and infrastructure compared to battery and electricity infrastructure.
A quick lesson in how (most of) the media works:

You have an article to write today, but no strict subject it needs to be on.

You start by looking in your e-mail and there is a press-pack from a "consulting company" about the latest hydrogen powered car. It has lots of nice professional photos with permission to use in an article. It has stacks of quotes from "industry experts". It has a nice easy to follow explanation about why "Hydrogen is the Future". It has a section of "Details you may wish to include in an article". It may even have one or more press releases worded exactly like an article of the right length for your publication (with permission to quote as much or as little as you want).

Once you have made your coffee you need to decide what to write about today. I wonder if you will be able to finish early enough to do something nice this afternoon...
 

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I know this, I was a card carrying "journalist" and invited to the "Guild of Motoring Writers" many moons ago for my efforts... ;)

However decent journalists think for themselves AND the EV stuff probably contains as much bluster and noise as the hydrogen releases.

I think it's the mindset that, over anything else, range is hat matters.

People struggle to think like EV owners, and the move away from long range and expensive pumps everywhere.
 
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