Five-seater sports car: Toyota Mirai generates electricity to drive with a hydrogen fuel cell.Photo: CH Media
The Toyota Mirai gets its electricity from its own hydrogen tanks. The comfortable sports car refuel quickly. Drive electric without the mess of cables. Test drive.
Bruno Knellwolf / ch media
A stylish electric car without the hassle of tangled cables. In short, this is the Toyota Mirai, which gets its electricity from hydrogen. And that’s right on board, where the fuel cell converts the hydrogen into electricity, which drives the car’s 182 hp.
And that impulse moves forward quickly, as does the continued momentum of electric vehicles. The second generation five-seater Toyota Mirai is very comfortable and very quiet to drive. Torque is high at 300Nm, and acceleration from a standstill is as engaging as a battery electric vehicle.
The hydrogen cart does not need a big and heavy battery, it needs tanks for hydrogen H2. The tanks contain 5.6 kg of H2, which is available at a pressure of 700 bar. It can be filled like gasoline at gas stations, and filling the tank is almost as fast as gasoline. A full tank is enough for about 550 kilometers.
The network of filling stations for hydrogen trucks is constantly expanding
Then you have to fill in again. There are still only 11 filling stations in Switzerland that offer hydrogen. But the network is constantly growing, and a twelfth is currently being implemented. These hydrogen filling stations are mainly for H2 vans, which are used in increasing numbers in Switzerland, but of course they also fill hydrogen cars such as the Toyota Mirai.
Fill at one of the eleven hydrogen filling stations currently in Switzerland. The network will be further expanded.Photo: CH Media
There are only two hydrogen production facilities in Switzerland, and a third facility in Burglen in canton Uri is in the pipeline. They must help ensure that gas stations can be safely supplied. Because during a tank test with the Mirai, he ran out of hydrogen at a gas station because the trucks had filled their tanks in advance and the delivery was late.
It can also happen that the tanks in the vehicle are not filled to 100 percent because there is no pressure in the system. When asked about a fuel shortage, the gas station attendant pointed to the H2 app. This app shows where H2 filling stations are located and if hydrogen is actually available there.
Driving test summary
On the road, there was nothing to complain about with the sporty Toyota Mirai, which costs 61,200 francs in the base. Measuring 4.97 meters long, the Mirai is a luxurious and comfortable sedan. All five seats are soft and comfortable, but the rear seats are slightly narrower due to the sporty sloping roofline. The trunk is not huge at 350 liters.
The large screen digital cockpit with information on driving status and the fuel cell is amazing. The car looks as modern as the car that needs future-oriented technology.
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