2022 Toyota Mirai first impression: Is hydrogen the future?
The automotive world is currently grappling for future mobility solutions and one of possible alternatives include hydrogen fuel cell cars since they promise a lower cost when compared to EVs and provide more range too. Toyota has launched a project to evaluate its Mirai hydrogen car for India and study its relevance in our market. Here is our first impression of the car.
Why does this story matter?
- Hydrogen fuel cell cars are being touted as the future for low-cost mobility since electric cars are still expensive and are hamstrung by charging difficulties.
- Launched in 2014, the Toyota Mirai is one of the first hydrogen fuel cell cars and it could now also come to India.
- If launched, this would be the first hydrogen-powered car on sale in the country.
The car looks like a luxury sedan
The new-generation Mirai is lower, longer and wider than its predecessor and looks like a full-sized luxury sedan. The styling is influenced by aerodynamics while the large 20-inch alloy wheels give it a hint of sportiness. The front of the car features a large grille while the sloping roofline neatly blends into the rear. The car also has a subtle rear spoiler.
The interiors are futuristic looking with multiple screens
The interiors are futuristic and aggressive along with multiple screens. The top-end models get a 10.0-inch digital instrument cluster paired with a 12.03-inch touchscreen infotainment console, which shows various information regarding the powertrain and range. With a new platform and by changing the position of the fuel cell stack, the cabin space has improved considerably over the previous Mirai.
The car has ideal weight distribution
The fuel cell stacks get hydrogen from the tanks and mix it with oxygen to feed electricity to the motor while the only emission is pure water. Total power has increased to 170hp while 50:50 weight distribution enables optimum cornering and reduces vehicle body roll. The fuel cell tack itself is made up of fewer cells and is lighter in size.
The car has three hydrogen tanks
With three hydrogen tanks instead of two, the range of the Mirai has gone up to 650km and that makes it more practical now. Also unlike EVs, the Mirai takes only a few minutes to refill at a hydrogen filling station. That said, India currently has only two hydrogen filling stations and there no infrastructure to support a car of this type.
How much will it cost in India?
The second-generation Mirai is a competent luxury sedan while also flaunting its unique hydrogen powertrain. However, hydrogen fuel cell cars are not as popular as EVs and the lack of filing stations is the biggest reason for that. Hence, it remains to be seen when Toyota will bring the car here but expect a starting price of Rs. 60 lakh when launched.