Toyota Mirai: chicken or egg, hydrogen cars are finally here
Source : 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 brand new Mirai
Philosophy is usually not a strong point of mine. which’s not definitely 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 usually one I remember being repeatedly used at the planet Future Energy Summit I attended in Abu Dhabi back in 2011, as various eggheads (or chickenheads) debated whether or not hydrogen fuel cells would certainly ever become a viable propulsion method in future cars.
Neither the cars nor the infrastructure existed at which point, along with also which 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 also gone.
Today, at last, we today have both the chicken along with also the egg from the UK. For I’ve just driven the Toyota Mirai on a shiny brand new 65-plate, one of 30 or so Mirais which will be from the UK by the end of 2016. By which point there will be nine places from the UK you can fill which up, up by 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 brand new fuel-cell vehicle by Honda which’s due to be revealed at next week’s Tokyo motor show, plus likely efforts by Nissan, BMW along with also Mercedes-Benz, who are producing more noises about the technology. Japan along with also Germany are getting serious about creating infrastructures, too.
So make no mistake: hydrogen cars are here, along with also a network, however tiny, is usually being developed to support them.
After all the talk, which’s pleasing to report what a revelation the Mirai is usually to drive. Greg Kable can tell you more about which here, although for me the overriding impression was just how quiet along with also smooth which is usually. which’s soothing, something genuinely different along with also a car which’s excites as the occasional whoosh by the drivetrain reveals which to be a long way by your average Toyota Avensis. which is usually the future, or at least a type of which.
The last time I drove a car which felt so genuinely different to drive was when having a whizz around the automobile park at Nissan’s Sunderland factory in one of the first Leaf prototypes. So impressive along with also unexpectedly strong was the step-off which at the time which felt like a Ferrari 458’s launch control.
A key difference between birth of the Leaf along with also the Mirai projects (along with also therefore the birth of modern electric along with also hydrogen vehicles) is usually cost along with also positioning. The Mirai is usually a £66,000, near several-metre long saloon car. Ignore the divisive external styling, plain Indoor along with also the badge, along with also the cost along with also size alone make the Mirai a premium car before you consider how premium the drivetrain is usually.
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 would certainly be), meaning the slow-burning adoption of hydrogen can follow the more traditional route of brand 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 usually less significant.
Tesla aside, EVs are only today finding their niche with those who charge them up at home along with also use them for commuting along with also 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 which ever happens, will be a much slower burner than the adoption of battery electric vehicles because of the greater infrastructure challenges, although the same will be true for hydrogen cars as electric vehicles: build which along with also 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 also Toyota should be applauded for not just talking about whether or not hydrogen cars can work along with also instead getting on along with also producing one. We live in exciting times.
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