Toyota wants to prove that hydrogen is the fuel of the future. Earlier this year, the automaker joined a 24-hour race with a hydrogen-powered Corolla racecar. Now, they're out to prove that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles can go the distance.
How far can Toyota's hydrogen fuel cell vehicle go on a single tank you ask? Well, the automaker announced that a 2021 Mirai managed to do over 1,000 kilometers. For reference, that's already a new world record. Mind you, they didn't do this in a test track either. Specifically, the Mirai covered 1,003 kilometers on public roads in France. That means the drivers encountered traffic and other variables during the record run. The distance and consumption were certified by an independent authority as well.
Interestingly, the Mirai's tank wasn't empty when they finished. Toyota says the onboard system indicates it had 9 kilometers of range left. It also had an average hydrogen consumption of 0.55 kg/100km (a full tank is 5.6kg). Toyota says the drivers adopted an “eco-style” driving, but “no special techniques that could not be used by everyday drivers”.
With that, Toyota showed that the hydrogen-powered Mirai has more range than most electric vehicles on the market. What's even more impressive is that the sedan was ready for more after just 5 minutes of refueling. It's also proved Toyota's hydrogen fuel cell technology is reliable for long-distance driving since the vehicle didn't experience any problem.
Does this show that hydrogen power is a better alternative to a battery-electric vehicle? Well, not yet. There are still fewer hydrogen-filling stations around the world compared to EV charging stations. Locally, we don't think there is one in the Philippines either. So again, it all boils down to infrastructure. But Toyota just showed that EVs aren't just the way to go for a clean, zero-emissions future.
Should the Department of Energy's hydrogen study open doors for fuel cell cars, perhaps the Toyota Mirai will get a chance to prove itself in the Philippines.