Opinion: Toyota Mirai – chicken or egg, hydrogen cars are finally here

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016 - autos, cars, motoring, news

Source : Opinion: Toyota Mirai – chicken or egg, hydrogen cars are finally here

At last the talking can stop about whether or not hydrogen cars can ever work as Toyota begins to test the theory for real with the fantastic completely new Mirai

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Philosophy is actually not a strong point of mine. the idea’s not actually a point of mine at all, to be honest; I can’t tell you whether the chicken or the egg came first, let alone offer anything thoughtful on the subject.

The chicken or the egg phrase is actually one I remember being repeatedly used at the entire world Future Energy Summit I attended in Abu Dhabi back in 2011, as various eggheads (or chickenheads) debated whether or not hydrogen fuel cells might ever become a viable propulsion method in future cars.

Neither the cars nor the infrastructure existed at of which point, along with the idea wasn’t clear if either was going to be forthcoming from the short or medium term after the pioneering Honda FCX Clarity had already been along with gone.

Today, at last, we at This particular point have both the chicken along with the egg from the UK. For I’ve just driven the Toyota Mirai on a shiny completely new 65-plate, one of 30 or so Mirais of which will be from the UK by the end of 2016. By of which point there will be nine places from the UK you can fill the idea up, up via the three sites currently open.

Around 3000 Mirais will be produced in total by the end of 2017. The Mirai will be joined by, among additional hydrogen cars, a completely new fuel-cell vehicle via Honda of which’s due to be revealed at next week’s Tokyo motor show, plus likely efforts via Nissan, BMW along with Mercedes-Benz, who are generating more noises about the technology. Japan along with Germany are getting serious about creating infrastructures, too.

So make no mistake: hydrogen cars are here, along using a network, however tiny, is actually being developed to support them.

After all the talk, the idea’s pleasing to report what a revelation the Mirai is actually to drive. Greg Kable can tell you more about the idea here, however for me the overriding impression was just how quiet along with smooth the idea is actually. the idea’s soothing, something genuinely different along using a car of which’s excites as the occasional whoosh via the drivetrain reveals This particular to be a long way via your average Toyota Avensis. the idea is actually the future, or at least a type of the idea.

The last time I drove a car of which felt so genuinely different to drive was when having a whizz around the auto park at Nissan’s Sunderland factory in one of the first Leaf prototypes. So impressive along with unexpectedly strong was the step-off of which at the time the idea felt like a Ferrari 458’s launch control.

A key difference between birth of the Leaf along with the Mirai projects (along with therefore the birth of modern electric along with hydrogen vehicles) is actually cost along with positioning. The Mirai is actually a £66,000, near a few-metre long saloon car. Ignore the divisive external styling, plain Inner surface along with the badge, along with the cost along with size alone make the Mirai a premium car before you consider how premium the drivetrain is actually.

The same will likely be true of the hydrogen cars to follow the Mirai (I’m salivating at how not bad a hydrogen-powered Mercedes-Benz S-class might be), meaning the slow-burning adoption of hydrogen can follow the more traditional route of completely new car technology starting life at the top end of the market before dripping down. Unusually, electric cars have worked the additional way round, where the premium appeal of the smooth drivetrain is actually less significant.

Tesla aside, EVs are only at This particular point finding their niche with those who charge them up at home along with use them for commuting along with shorter journeys rather than anyone looking to charge as they go on longer trips. Frankly, if an EV fits in with how you use a car, the range argument becomes irrelevant.

The widespread adoption of hydrogen, if the idea ever happens, will be a much slower burner than the adoption of battery electric vehicles because of the greater infrastructure challenges, however the same will be true for hydrogen cars as electric vehicles: build the idea along with they will come (to raid my philosophy handbook once more).

Whatever the future, the Mirai should be celebrated as a fantastic technological achievement, along with Toyota should be applauded for not just talking about whether or not hydrogen cars can work along with instead getting on along with generating one. We live in exciting times.

by via Autocar RSS Feed



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