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Toyota Mirai hydrogen car set for sale in late 2015

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With around a dozen electric cars now on sale in the UK, car buyers have more choice than ever when looking for a zero emissions machine. However, most electric cars are still afflicted by one key issue – limited range; an average electric vehicle will struggle to chalk up 100 miles between lengthy charges.

The upcoming Toyota Mirai, though, could offer a solution to drivers who want a zero emissions car that is capable of covering longer distances between fill ups – thanks to its onboard hydrogen fuel cell, which uses hydrogen to create electricity which in turn powers the car. 

As a result, the Mirai is capable of covering 300 miles per tank of hydrogen. Should you run out of fuel you can then simply top the tank back up, which should take a mere five minutes – substantially quicker than even the fastest electric charging points. Electric car company Tesla’s rapid-charging ‘Superchargers’ require 30 minutes to add around 170 miles of range in comparison.

A number of hydrogen filling stations are due to be constructed over the next few years. Current government plans aim to have 65 filling stations in place across the UK by 2018 to make hydrogen-powered vehicles a much more plausible prospect.

Arriving on roads in the UK and US in late 2015, the Mirai should offer a similar driving experience to a typical electric car, with 151bhp on tap, allowing the car to scoot to 62mph in a reasonable 9.6 seconds. 

The main factor that will affect the take up of hydrogen-powered cars – barring the provision of filling stations – is the cost. Due to the level of new technology packed into the Mirai, Toyota is predicting a UK price tag of more than £60,000 when it arrives at the end of summer 2015. With a US starting price quoted at just $57,500 (£36,743) it’s likely that prices will drop quickly as hydrogen models sell in greater numbers.

Should Toyota manage to rein in the purchase cost of the Mirai within time and the number of hydrogen filling stations grows, hydrogen cars could be set to take over from electric cars as the green transport of choice for many drivers.

Author: Christofer Lloyd


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