Toyota has just rolled out the Toyota Mirai electric car, a car that runs on hydrogen fuel cells and charges in 3 minutes.
Toyota Mirai is a sleek and affordable eco-friendly car that can run for 300 miles with a 3-minute charge and it also comes with three years of free gas.
Mirai means future in Japanese and the Toyota Mirai is going to be one of the first mass-market cars to run on electricity obtained from compressed hydrogen. This means that its exhaust fumes will be just water vapor. With the hydrogen fuel cells technology, the Toyota Mirai doesn’t need to be plugged in overnight, the user would just need to charge it for around three minutes.
Elon Musk, founder of Tesla Motors and electric-car pioneer, has criticized the tech-forward Toyota Mirai. Musk finds hydrogen a very unreliable source of energy for cars and even called hydrogen fuel cells extremely silly. He stated that hydrogen is too difficult to store, produce and convert to fuel and that this technology diverts attention from better sources of clean energy.
If you’re going to pick an energy source mechanism, hydrogen is an incredibly dumb one to pick. The best-case hydrogen fuel cell doesn’t win against the current-case batteries. It doesn’t make sense, and that will become apparent in the next few years.
The Toyota Mirai will cost around $45,000 in the United States (which includes $13,000 in federal incentives). Tesla Model S costs $80,000 and drives for 265 miles. The Toyota Mirai will start selling to the Japanese public next month.
Toyota is not the only car manufacturer that has cars running on hydrogen fuel cells, the Hyundai Tucson is available in California and a new car from Honda is set to roll out in 2016.
Toyota is also planning to build more fueling station and it is going to start doing that in California, and that is why the Toyota Mirai is only going to be available here, at first. The state is also investing tens of millions of dollars to build more hydrogen refueling stations. It plans to open up 28 more and it’s already got 10.
Cars running on hydrogen fuel cells need an infrastructure for them to properly function in the American society.
Image Source: Forbes