Toyota Mirai; Hydrogen Fuel cell Electric Vehicle features and Price.

Toyota Mirai, Hydrogen Fuel Cell electric car

The hydrogen fuel cell powered Toyota Mirai was unveiled at the November 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. As of December 2021, Toyota Mirai global sales totaled 17,940 units with price starting at US$57,500. The top-selling markets were the U.S. with 9,274 units, Japan with 6,618 and the rest of the world with 2,048.

The Toyota Mirai is a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (FCV) manufactured by Toyota, 4-door sedan Mid-size luxury car/Executive car and represents one of the first FCV automobiles to be mass-produced and sold commercially. The Toyota Mirai has two models since its unveiling; First generation Mirai (JPD10; 2014) and Second generation Miria (JPD20; 2020)

Toyota Mirai Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle Model Generations

The 2016 model year Mirai has a total EPA range of 502 km (312 mi) on a full tank, with a combined city/highway fuel economy rating of 66 mpg‑US (3.6 L/100 km; 79 mpg‑imp) equivalent (MPG-equivalent), making the Mirai the most fuel-efficient hydrogen fuel cell vehicle rated at the time by the EPA, and the one with the longest range.

first generation Toyota Mirai, Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle
first generation Toyota Mirai, Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle

In August 2021, the second-generation Mirai set a world record of traveling 1,360 km (845 mi) with a full tank of 5.65 kg hydrogen.

Second Generation Toyota Mirai Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle
Second Generation Toyota Mirai Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle
Overview of Toyota Mirai first and second generation models
First generation Mirai (JPD10; 2014-2020) Second generation Miria (JPD20; 2020-day)
Production December 2014 – 2020 December 2020 – present
Model years 2016–2020 2021–present
Layout Front-motor, front-wheel-drive Rear-motor, rear-wheel-drive
Platform TNGA: GA-L
Powertrain
Electric motor 4JM Fuel cell-powered 113 kW (152 hp) 335 N⋅m (247 lbf⋅ft) 4JM fuel cell-powered 182 hp (136 kW; 185 PS), 300 N⋅m (220 lbf⋅ft)
Transmission 1-speed 1-speed
Battery 1.6 kWh Nickel-metal hydride 1.2 kWh lithium-ion
Range 502 km (312 mi) (EPA) 122 liters (2 x hydrogen tanks) 647 km (402 mi) (EPA) 141 liters (3 x hydrogen tanks)
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,780 mm (109.4 in) 2,920 mm (115.0 in)
Length 4,890 mm (192.5 in) 4,975 mm (195.9 in)
Width 1,815 mm (71.5 in) 1,885 mm (74.2 in)
Height 1,535 mm (60.4 in) 1,470 mm (57.9 in)
Curb weight 1,850 kg (4,078.6 lb) 1,920–1,950 kg (4,230–4,300 lb)

 

Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Vehicle concept, specification and history.

Knowing about Fuel Cell Technology and how how electric cars works gives a better understanding of the Toyota Mirai hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle.

The Mirai is based on the Toyota FCV-R (Fuel Cell Vehicle) concept car, which was unveiled at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show and the Toyota FCV (Fuel Cell Vehicle) concept car, which was unveiled at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. The unveiled FCV concept was a bright blue sedan shaped like a drop of water “to emphasize that water is the only substance that hydrogen-powered cars emit from their tailpipes.”

The FCV has a large grille and other openings to allow cooling air and oxygen intake for use by the fuel cell. The FCV size is similar to the Camry.  FCV range is expected to be approximately 700 km (430 mi) under Japan’s JC08 test cycle.

According to Toyota, the FCV features a fuel cell system with an output power density of 3.0kW/L, which is twice as high as that of its previous fuel cell concept. The Toyota FCHV-adv delivers an output power of more than 100 kW, despite significant unit downsizing. The FCV uses Toyota’s proprietary, small, light-weight fuel cell stack and two 70 MPa high-pressure hydrogen tanks placed beneath the specially designed body.

The Toyota FCV concept can accommodate up to four occupants. For the full-scale market launch in 2015, the cost of the fuel cell system is expected to be 95% lower than that of the 2008 Toyota FCHV-adv.

Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell concept diagram
Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Vehicle concept diagram

The FCV concept also uses portions of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive technology including the electric motor, power control unit and other parts and components from its hybrid vehicles to improve reliability and minimize cost. The hybrid technology is also used to work together with the fuel cell. At low speeds such as city driving, the FCV runs just like any all-electric car by using the energy stored in its battery, which is charged through regenerative braking.

At higher speeds, the hydrogen fuel cell alone powers the electric motor. When more power is needed, for example during sudden acceleration, the battery supports the fuel cell system as both work together to provide propulsion.

In June 2014, Toyota showcased a FCV with an exterior design close to production, announced details about pricing in Japan, and set a domestic market launch before April 2015, with initial sales limited to regions where hydrogen refueling infrastructure is being developed.

Toyato FCV Testing

Toyota began fuel cell development in Japan in the early 1990s and has developed a series of fuel cell vehicles, subjecting them to more than 1,600,000 km (1,000,000 miles) of road testing.

Since 2012, fuel cell test vehicles have logged thousands of miles on North American roads. This includes hot testing in Death Valley, cold testing in Yellowknife, Canada, steep grade hill climbs in San Francisco and high altitude trips in Colorado.

The Toyota-designed carbon fiber hydrogen tanks have also undergone extreme testing to ensure their strength and durability in a crash.

Between September 2015 and February 2016, one Mirai was driven 100,000 km (62,000 miles) in 107 days on different roads in Hamburg, using just over one tonne of hydrogen. 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.

First generation Mirai (JPD10; 2014-2020)

First generation Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell vehicle Interior
First generation (2016-2020) Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell vehicle Interior

The first generation Mirai differs from the second generation by just a few features like body built and power specifications.

Specifications of First generation Mirai

The Mirai uses the Toyota Fuel Cell System (TFCS), which features both fuel cell technology and hybrid technology, and includes proprietary Toyota-developed components including the fuel cell (FC) stack, FC boost converter, and high-pressure hydrogen tanks. The TFCS is more energ-efficient than internal combustion engines and emits no CO2 at the point of operation or substances of concern (SOCs) when driven. The system accelerates Mirai from 0 to 97 km/h (0 to 60 mph) in 9.0 seconds and delivers a passing time of 3 seconds from 40 to 64 km/h (25 to 40 mph).

First generation Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell vehicle rear view
First generation Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell vehicle rear view

The Mirai refueling takes between 3 and 5 minutes, and Toyota expected a total range of 480 km (300 miles) on a full tank. The Mirai has a button labeled H2O that opens a gate at the rear, dumping the water vapor that forms from the hydrogen-oxygen reaction in the fuel cell. The exhaust H2O or water volume is 240 mL per 4 km running.

At the end of the journey, there is still some water left in the pipes. Using the H2O button the water from the vehicle is pumped through the pipes out of the car. The video shows the process after about 30 km (20 miles) drive.

2016 Toyata Mirai Price starts at $57,500.

Fuel economy and range

Under the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cycle, the 2016 model year Mirai has a range of 502 km (312 mi) on a full tank, with a combined city/highway fuel economy rating of 66 mpg‑US (3.6 L/100 km; 79 mpg‑imp) equivalent (MPG-equivalent).

The official Toyota consumption declaration states hydrogen is consumed at the rate of 0.8 kg/100 km (2.8 lb/100 miles) on the combined urban/extra urban cycle.

Fuel cell stack

The first generation of Toyota FC Stack achieved a maximum output of 114 kW (153 hp). Electricity generation efficiency was enhanced through the use of 3D fine mesh flow channels. These channels—a world first, according to Toyota were arranged in a fine three-dimensional lattice structure to enhance the dispersion of air (oxygen), thereby enabling uniform generation of electricity on cell surfaces.

Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Stack assembly
Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Stack assembly

This, in turn, provided a compact size and a high level of performance, including the stack’s world-leading power output density of 3.1 kW/L (2.2 times higher than that of the previous Toyota FCHV-adv limited-lease model), or 2.0 kW/kg. Each stack comprises 370 (single-line stacking) cells, with a cell thickness of 1.34 mm and weight of 102 g.

The compact Mirai FC stack generates about 160 times more power than the residential fuel cells on sale in Japan. The Mirai has a new compact (13-liter), high-efficiency, high-capacity converter developed to boost voltage generated in the Toyota FC Stack to 650 volts.

High-pressure hydrogen tanks

The Mirai has two hydrogen tanks with a three-layer structure made of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic consisting of nylon 6 from Ube Industries and other materials. The tanks are 122 liter combined, and store hydrogen at 70 MPa (10,000 psi). The tanks have a combined weight of 87.5 kg (193 lb), and 5 kg capacity.

Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Stack and hydrogen pressure tanks in chassis
Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Stack and hydrogen pressure tanks (yellow) in chassis

Electric traction motor and battery

Toyota’s latest generation hybrid components were used extensively in the fuel cell powertrain, including the electric motor, power control and main battery. The electric traction motor delivers 113 kilowatts (152 hp) and 335 N⋅m (247 lbf⋅ft) of torque. The Mirai has a 245V (1.6 kWh) sealed nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) traction rechargeable battery pack, similar to the one used in the Camry hybrid.

Safety

At Toyota’s Higashi-Fuji Technical Center, the Mirai has been subjected to extensive crash testing to evaluate a design specifically intended to address frontal, side and rear impacts and to provide claimed excellent protection of vehicle occupants. A high level of collision safety has also been achieved to help protect the fuel cell stack and high-pressure tanks against body deformation.

The high pressure hydrogen tanks is claimed to have excellent hydrogen permeation prevention performance, strength, and durability. Hydrogen sensors provide warnings and can shut off tank main stop valves. The hydrogen tanks and other hydrogen-related parts are located outside the cabin to ensure that if hydrogen leaks, it will dissipate easily.

The vehicle structure is enhanced with carbon-fiber-reinforced polymers from Toray and designed to disperse and absorb impact energy across multiple parts to ensure a high-impact safety performance that protects the Toyota FC Stack and high-pressure hydrogen tanks during frontal, side or rear impacts.

Second generation Mirai (JPD20; 2020)

First generation 2020Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell vehicle rear view
First generation 2020Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell vehicle rear view

The second-generation Mirai was unveiled in October 2019 and went on sale in December 2020. It has a target of 30 percent increase in driving range with increased hydrogen capacity. The updated version launched on 12 April 2021 includes the “Advanced Drive” system including driver monitor camera and remote software updates. The system is equipped with lane centering system, can maintain the distance from other vehicles, navigate a lane split, change lanes, and overtake other vehicles. It also has “Advanced Park”, an advanced parking assistance system.

second generation 2020Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell vehicle rear view
second generation 2020Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell vehicle rear view

In September 2021, the second-generation Mirai achieved a five star Euro NCAP overall rating. The car received a score of 33.8 points (88%) for adults, 42 points (85%) for children occupants, 43.7 points (80%) for pedestrians and 13.2 points (82%) for safety assist.

Toyota Mirai 2020 to 2022 price starts at $50,000.

Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure

As of January 2013, Japan had ten demonstration hydrogen fueling stations.

Toyota operated three of these stations. To support commercialization of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles by Toyota and other manufacturers, the Japanese government announced a goal to build approximately 100 hydrogen fueling stations by March 2016 in Japanese cities where the vehicles were to be launched initially. By May 2016, there were approximately 80 hydrogen fueling stations in Japan.

California had ten hydrogen fueling stations in 2015, and the government provided about $47 million for 28 additional stations there. As of December, 2017, there are 19 True Zero hydrogen stations and 33 total hydrogen stations operating in California

In Canada, Metro Vancouver, BC has 4 hydrogen stations and 1 in Victoria, BC as of 2021.

Production

Production of the fuel cell parts began in the Toyota Boshoku factory in November 2014.

Markets and sales

Sales in Japan began on 15 December 2014 at ¥6.7 million (~US$57,400) at Toyota Store and Toyopet Store locations. The Japanese government plans to support the commercialization of fuel-cell vehicles with a subsidy of ¥2 million (~US$19,600).

Retail sales in the U.S. began in August 2015 at a price of US$57,500 before any government incentives. Deliveries to retail customers began in California in October 2015. Toyota scheduled to release the Mirai in the Northeastern States in the first half of 2016. As of June 2016, the Mirai is available for retail sales in the UK, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, and Norway. Pricing in Germany starts at €60,000 (~US$75,140) plus VAT (€78,540).

As of December 2021, Toyota Mirai global sales totaled 17,940 units with price starting at US$57,500. The top-selling markets were the U.S. with 9,274 units, Japan with 6,618 and the rest of the world with 2,048.

Recalls

On 15 February 2017 Toyota recalled all of the roughly 2,800 zero-emission Mirai cars on the road due to problems with the output voltage generated by their fuel cell system. According to Toyota, under unique driving conditions, such as if the accelerator pedal is depressed to the wide open throttle position after driving on a long descent while using cruise control, there was a possibility the output voltage generated by the fuel cell boost converter could exceed the maximum voltage. Toyota dealers announced they will update the fuel cell system software at no cost to the customer, claiming the process will take about half an hour.

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCV) are of advantage over battery electric vehicles (BEV) with its refilling time been less than the charging time for BEVs which would commensurate for the higher cost of hydrogen gas which would be addressed with time as more infrastructure gets in place and technological advancement improves on methods of producing the hydrogen gas.

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