The Japanese giant has revealed its next-generation vehicle’s incredible capabilities, which can dramatically shift the way we drive cars.
This is why you might never have to charge your electric car.
Toyota has set a Guinness World Record for the greatest distance driven without refuelling a hydrogen-powered vehicle.
On a roundtrip tour of Southern California earlier this year, the Toyota Mirai covered 1360 km, far surpassing the range of even the longest-legged battery-powered electric vehicle.
Even more remarkable, the Mirai’s tank only needed five minutes to fill, which is close to the time it takes to fill typical petrol or diesel vehicle. During the test, the Mirai used a total of 5.65kg of hydrogen.
Fuel-cell vehicles with hydrogen tanks are still costly, but many companies, including Toyota and Hyundai, consider them a long-term solution to pollution-free transportation.
Compared to plug-in EVs, which can take up to an hour to fully recharge from a fast-charging station, the appeal is the quick recharging time.
To prevent the battery from overheating, plug-in EVs dramatically slow down the last 20% fast charging.
The only tailpipe emission is water. Hydrogen is being touted as a possible climate change battling fuel, but it depends on the method of creating the hydrogen.
Most of the hydrogen produced today is “blue hydrogen,” which is made with fossil-fuel energy and carbon capture. Green hydrogen, on the other hand, splits hydrogen from water using renewable energy sources. Cars that run on hydrogen are a relatively new invention. The two leading proponents of the latest technology are Toyota and Hyundai.
Hyundai has a fleet of Nexo hydrogen-powered SUVs in Australia that it leases to businesses and the government as part of a test of the latest tech.
Toyota operates a similar scheme in Australia for its Mirai car.
A Hyundai Nexo driven by Australian rally driver Brendan Reeves travelled from Melbourne to Broken Hill in western NSW on a single hydrogen tank earlier this year. At the time, the 807-kilometre journey was a world record.
On the other hand, Toyota believes hydrogen will be a huge business by 2030, particularly in large four-wheel drives like the LandCruiser and HiLux.
Hyundai forecasts that fuel-cell vehicles will be on par with battery-electric cars in terms of pricing by the end of the decade.
At first, the company plans to focus on trucks, vans and utes. Its goal is to apply hydrogen power to every one of its commercial cars by 2028.
At the moment, about 15 000 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are being built every year, as opposed to up to 4 million battery electric vehicles and more than 100 million petrol and diesel vehicles.