Toyota Mirai FCEV
New electric cars seem to be launched on an almost daily basis, but there is an alternative to the big and heavy battery back that is needed to power them. One manufacturer producing just such a vehicle is Toyota, and this model is the Mirai which takes its name from the Japanese word for ‘future’.
The first generation model was launched in 2014 and more than 10,000 were sold, but for its successor the company chose a stylish design with seating for five. Prices range from £49,995 to £64,995 and buyers can choose from three trim levels, each of which feature plenty of equipment and cutting edge infotainment and driver assistance tech.
The reason it is here, though, is because of the clever technology that powers it - the hydrogen fuel cell. These work by combining hydrogen with oxygen to produce electricity which is then fed to an electric motor, in this case mounted on the rear axle. The hydrogen is carried in three extremely strong tanks, one situated along the floor and two beneath the rear seats and luggage compartment.
The fuel cell sits up front where an engine would usually be, and is both compact and light - it weighs just 52kg. Up to 5.6kg of hydrogen can be carried in the on-board tanks and the result is a claimed range of around 400 miles. There’s no CO2 emissions, of course, and in fact the only thing that is produced is water.
And as well as being clean there’s ample performance on tap, with 0-62mph achieved in 9.0 seconds and a top speed of 108mph. The Mirai is also very refined, making it enjoyably relaxing on a long journey.
Toyota has produced plenty of cars that are loved by today’s enthusiasts, but we are still very excited by the modern technology that powers this one.