Toyota Mirai is part of a pilot study by the Indian government: project inaugurated by Nitin Gadkari
This is an excellent initiative by the Indian government given our current reliance on fossil fuels. Moreover, the government has also been considering the possibility of using hydrogen fuel cell cars for some time now.
The pilot project conducted by iCAT (International Center for Automotive Technology) will use the second generation Toyota Mirai fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) and the pilot project was inaugurated by Mr. Nitin Gadkari, the Minister of Roads, Transport and Highways.
Unlike battery-powered cars, FCEVs (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles) generate their own electricity and given that more than 50% of electricity generated in India comes from coal, fuel cell electric vehicles are overall more environmentally friendly. ‘environment.
Apart from that, fuel cell electric vehicles can be refueled like conventional vehicles by filling the tank with hydrogen instead of fossil fuels like gasoline or diesel. This is a major advantage given that today’s battery electric vehicles take at least an hour to fully charge, even with very powerful chargers.
In addition, battery-powered electric vehicles are generally heavier due to their huge battery, which can lead to additional wear and tear on moving parts, causing additional damage to the environment.
Since fuel cell vehicles are lighter and can be recharged in minutes, they are a more viable option for powering long-distance vehicles such as trucks and buses.
An additional benefit of hydrogen is in its production as it can be produced from renewable energy sources and biomass, making it more sustainable than any other viable fuel source on the market.
Speaking of Toyota Mirai, the first concept was unveiled in 2011 at the Tokyo Motor Show while the Toyota FCV-R and the initial development of FCEV technology began in 1992.
The first generation Toyota Mirai FCEV was produced from 2014 to 2020 and was equipped with a 152 hp electric motor with 335 Nm of torque. It has two hydrogen tanks with a total capacity of 122 liters.
This configuration, together with the 1.6 kWh battery, gave the first generation Toyota Mirai a range of 502 km according to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) cycle. Since FCEVs produce water as a by-product, the Toyota Mirai produces water at the rate of 240ml every 4 km.
Unlike the first generation model, the second generation Toyota Mirai is a rear-wheel-drive car and comes with a more powerful 182 hp electric motor with 300 Nm of torque. Additionally, the vehicle now comes with 3 hydrogen tanks for a combined storage of 141 liters of hydrogen.
This configuration gave the second-generation Toyota Mirai additional range for a total of 647 km under the EPA cycle. Additionally, the second-generation Toyota Mirai earned a 5-star Euro-NCAP crash test safety rating.
However, the lack of hydrogen filling infrastructure in India will push the launch of FCEVs like the Toyota Mirai and Hyundai Nexo in the country, but the pilot program could accelerate the future possibilities of FCEVs in India.
Thoughts on the Toyota Mirai and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles
FCEVs are a much more sustainable mode of transport given that the energy source of FCEVs can also be made sustainable. On top of that, the filling time of an FCEV is almost equal to that of a conventional car, which makes FCEVs much more suitable for long-haul vehicles.