Published: Sat, October 12, 2019
Economy | By

Toyota Displays Redesigned Hydrogen Sedan to Compete with Tesla

Toyota Displays Redesigned Hydrogen Sedan to Compete with Tesla

Toyota started testing two Mirai fuel cells in an electric Class 8 semi-trailer truck in the Port of Los Angeles in 2017 as part of Project Portal. The new Toyota Mirai doesn't look to change that.

The dramatic change in design also signals a new driving experience from Mirai.

It's not only the aesthetic of the vehicle that has been altered, the redevelopment has seen a 30% increase in driving range. But they remain a novelty, accounting for less than 0.1 percent of the almost 100 million vehicles produced each year, according to research by the National Academy of Sciences. California has spent about $100 million over the past several years to build out a network of hydrogen stations.

Toyota is working to develop a line of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and includes FCEVs in its electrification roadmap.

Interestingly, Toyota isn't looking to win over batteries in current EVs with its fuel cells. According to Toyota, the switch allowed designers to turn the Mirai into a longer, lower and wider sedan compared to the outgoing model.

The interior has also been reworked.

The new Mirai's clean, modern profile was inspired by coupes, yet the new design is also more approachable than before.

To add to the good news, the vehicle is based on a rear-wheel-drive platform, which means the vehicle might even be more fun to drive than previous models.

The automaker builds the Mirai - the world's first mass-produced fuel cell auto introduced in 2014 - at a pace of around 3,000 a year at present. For the record, the current model offers approximately 500 kilometres.

The new Toyota Mirai has an all-digital instrument panel, a large 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, heated and cooled front seats, wireless charging, and a dash-mounted shifter.

Aside from the claimed increase in range, Toyota has not given specific details of development work done on the fuel cell powertrain. It's a scalable technology, which means it can be made small enough to power a phone or large enough to power a building, or anything in between. Our conundrum is where there is at least a link - albeit a tenuous one - between electric vehicles and driving thrills, hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles have still yet to form one. These powerful, zero-emission big rigs are now used for moving freight in and around the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, California.

In a partnership with Toyota and Royal Dutch Shell, Shell has four hydrogen filling stations in California and is now working with the support of the State of California, to further develop its hydrogen refuelling network.

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