27 Jan 2021 Toyota Mirai Concept
Toyota put the auto industry on the road to electrification in 1997 with the first Prius hybrid. Then, in 2015, it debuted the Mirai, the first production hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) offered for sale to retail customers in North America (Mirai means “future” in Japanese). Now, Toyota has revealed the second-generation Mirai, rebooted as a premium sedan with cutting-edge design, technology and driving performance.
The Mirai is based on Toyota’s premium rear-wheel drive platform and debuts a dramatic yet refined coupe-inspired design with improved passenger room and comfort. The second-gen Mirai will go on sale in late 2020 and will deliver a significant evolution of Toyota’s hydrogen FCEV powertrain technology and offer a critical look into the future of Toyota’s lineup.
The dramatic change in design also signals a new driving experience from Mirai. A targeted 30-percent increase in range is achieved by an improvement in fuel cell system performance and increased hydrogen storage capacity. Additionally, the new Mirai will offer a more powerful, engaging and even quieter driving experience than its pioneering forerunner.
“We have pursued making a car that customers feel like driving all the time, a car that has emotional and attractive design appeal, as well as dynamic and responsive driving performance that can bring a smile to the faces of drivers,” said Yoshikazu Tanaka, Chief Engineer of the Mirai. “I want customers to say, ‘I chose the Mirai not because it’s an FCEV, but because I really wanted this car, and it just happened to be an FCEV.’”
At its core, the Mirai is an electric vehicle, but it never needs to be plugged in to recharge. An FCEV generates its own electricity onboard from hydrogen & oxygen, with water as the only tailpipe emission. A fill-up takes just about five minutes at an SAE-conforming hydrogen fueling station in California or Hawaii (with stations also planned for the Northeast and other areas).
Toyota is working to develop a line of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and includes FCEVs in its electrification roadmap. Toyota projects that fuel cell electric technology will one day be as common as the company’s hybrid electric technology.