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Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles

Learn more about our hydrogen powered zero-emission technology.

The Mirai is here and it's the start of a new age of hydrogen-powered zero-emission mobility. The name Mirai means “future” in Japanese, but to make our new Toyota Fuel Cell System technology successful we know it has to be accessible and appealing to people today. The Mirai has an extremely advanced powertrain and uses a new type of fuel, but it’s also a regular mid-size, four-door sedan that is every bit as practical, safe and easy to drive as a conventionally powered family car.

It will go as far as a similar size petrol car on a full tank of hydrogen and refuelling from empty takes between three and five minutes. The benefits are a quiet, smooth drive, strong performance and no tailpipe emissions other than water vapour.

How it works

 

The Toyota Fuel Cell System used in Mirai produces electricity from a reaction between hydrogen and oxygen.

You fill up with hydrogen fuel, in the same way as you buy gasoline or diesel at a filling station. The fuel is contained in high-pressure tanks and fed into a fuel cell stack, where the hydrogen and the oxygen found naturally in the air react with each other and generate electricity.

As in a petrol-electric hybrid, the electricity is boosted in voltage to drive the electric motor. Further energy is captured in a battery every time the car brakes or slows down, which contributes to even better fuel economy.

Our decades of research and development in hybrid electric technology have helped us to be the first around the world to make a system with a power density of 3.1kW per litre.

Hydrogen can be produced from practically anything

Hydrogen is not a new source of energy. It has been widely used for more than a century and is now recognised as a viable power source for vehicles with the potential to eliminate carbon emissions and reduce dependence on the world’s shrinking supplies of oil-based fuels.

Hydrogen (H) is all around us. It is the most common atom in the universe. However, it is always found tied to other elements, such as oxygen in water (H2O). That means we have to find ways of isolating it to produce pure H2 hydrogen fuel. There are plentiful natural resources we can use to do this, including making use of renewable energy such as wind and solar power.

Building a hydrogen-based society

 

We believe there are great environmental and social benefits to be secured from building a future society based on using CO2-free hydrogen and renewable energy sources. This forms an important part of our long-term Environmental Vision 2050 and our desire to create true harmony between society and nature.

Hydrogen is a clean, efficient means of producing electricity that is not vulnerable to fluctuations in supply. As well as creating no CO2 emissions when used, hydrogen fuel also has a higher energy density than electric batteries and is easy to transport and store. It can be used not only for powering vehicles – not just private cars but buses, taxis, forklift trucks and others – but homes as well.

Did you know that a Mirai could power an average home for up to a week in an emergency (in Japan and the USA)?

Two decades of technology research

We believe the hydrogen fuel cell system is a technological breakthrough with the potential to deliver sustainable, zero-emissions mobility as part of a low carbon society.

We began our research and testing programme 20 years ago. About the same time, we started work on Prius, and we are confident that we have succeeded in capturing the benefits hydrogen can offer in a vehicle that meets the needs of today's customers. At the same time, it addresses future concerns about air quality and sustainability.