Toyota Introduces New Hydrogen Powered Car

Posted Monday, May 18, 2015 by nhtwpprod

You may not find the 2016 Mirai at North Hollywood Toyota, right now, but according to Toyota it is coming soon.  The Mirai is the first mass-market vehicle designed to use hydrogen instead of gas and should be available at Los Angeles car dealerships in no time at all.

The idea of a zero emission vehicle is one that car manufacturers have been working toward for several years. Hybrids, electric, and optional fuels have all been in development behind the scenes. The first sale of the 2016 Toyota Mirai is planned for October. The sedan comfortably seats 4, can drive farther then any electric car available, and refuel much faster as well.  Instead of being plugged in overnight, the Mirai can go 300 miles on a full tank, and refill in just 5 minutes, like any gas vehicle. But, with hydrogen only being sold at about a dozen U.S. fueling stations, the plan to release this vehicle now is a risky endeavor for Toyota.

Cleaner Air or Convenience?

Convenience and the ability to fill up your vehicle on just about any corner in America is one benefit of a traditional or hybrid car. By taking away the option of using gasoline, Toyota is expecting their consumers to be okay with the lack of filling stations, and to be so thrilled by the vehicle that they won’t care about the inconvenience. That’s not very likely in today’s instant gratification society. After all, if we can live video chat with someone halfway around the world while we are walking through the mall using our smart phones, why would we want to take a step back and spend time searching for a filling station?

Is Hydrogen a Safe Choice?

There’s also a question that needs to be addressed about the safety of using hydrogen. When you think of hydrogen fuel, you probably think of the hydrogen bomb or even the Hindenburg tragedy. Do you really want vehicles on the road getting in collisions with a tank of this dangerous fuel?  First, the Mirai doesn’t have a traditional gas tank full of hydrogen. There are stacks of fuel cells that allow the electric vehicle to suck in air, which combines with the hydrogen inside the cells. The only exhaust produced by this type of power is a small trickle of water. Zero-emissions, and, according to Toyota, a much safer use of hydrogen than many expect may just make the 2016 Mirai the success that the Prius has been for Toyota.

When it comes to eco-friendly vehicles, Toyota has been pushing the envelope for the last 18 years. Introducing new niche vehicles can be an expensive endeavor, but Toyota has the means to continue to experiment and improve upon whatever ideas they come up with.  Initially the Prius was a laughingstock, and now it is recognized as a clean and even mainstream vehicle.

Some drivers are die-hard gasoline fans, while others are always interested in the newest gadgets to help the environment. Whether you can see yourself driving an electric/hydrogen car, or not, it is definitely going to be something to see and experience at least once. If you are interested in trying out a hydrogen vehicle, be sure to visit North Hollywood Toyota in late October to check out the 2016 Toyota Mirai.