Mar Vistan Julia Greenberg works at Toyota and has had the chance to spend a lot of time driving the Mirai. She's excited about sharing the new technology at the Expo.
The Mirai runs on a fuel cell, which uses hydrogen stored in a carbon fiber tank to produce electricity to drive the motor. The car uses oxygen from the air--scooped up through the extra large front vents--and combines it with hydrogen from the tanks to create water, generating clean electricity in the process. It’s a clean, efficient, powerful drive--and the only tailpipe emission is pure water.
The most interesting thing about the Mirai, to me, is that I don’t have to think about driving any differently. On a full tank, I still get just about 300 miles. Filling the tank works exactly the same way as filling a gasoline-powered car--I attach the hose to the filling port, wait five minutes, and I’ve got a full tank. I don’t have to retrofit the electrical system in my home to plug in the car, and I don’t have to worry about how long it takes to charge. I can make the road trip from LA to San Francisco in a single day!
The only obstacle for Mirai owners right now is the number of hydrogen fueling stations. Fortunately, there’s already a lot of hydrogen infrastructure in place--there are a lot of industrial uses for hydrogen, so hydrogen is being shipped around to a lot of major cities already. Retail hydrogen fueling stations are popping up all over Southern California, and the Mirai has a built in mapping app that helps you find the nearest one.
The Mirai is an eco car for people who don’t want to have to change the way they drive. Can’t wait to show it off!