Toyota may be making more hydrogen fuel carsOctober 6, 2015
Mirai could be the first step in a larger initiative coming from Toyota
Toyota’s Mirai may be the first of many fuel cell vehicles that the automaker has plans to release in the commercial market. The chief Mirai engineer for Totota, Yoshikazu Tanaka, believes that the Mirai will spawn several other vehicles that are equipped with hydrogen fuel cells. The Mirai was recently launched in Japan and select markets in California, but has already found significant success among consumers. As such, Toyota sees a promising future in clean transportation.
Automaker may already be working on new fuel cell vehicles for the future
Toyota has tentative plans to launch more fuel cell vehicles in the future, but has not yet confirmed what type of vehicles these would be. Rumors suggest that the automaker could be considering the development of station wagons, hatchbacks, minivans, and SUVs that will make use of hydrogen fuel cells. There is no information concerning when these vehicles would be released and their development may hinge on the ultimate success of the Mirai and the establishment of a hydrogen fuel infrastructure.
Companies are working together to improve fuel cell technology
Several other automakers have also adopted a significant interest in fuel cells, including Honda, Hyundai, and Daimler. Some of these companies have begun working with one another in order to overcome the technical and financial challenges that face fuel cells. One of the unattractive aspects of fuel cells is that they are expensive to develop and fuel cell vehicles lack the support of a comprehensive infrastructure that can make them popular among consumers. Solving these problems could secure the success of new clean vehicles in prominent markets.
Toyota has made progress in making fuel cells better
Toyota’s Tanaka has noted that the company has made significant progress in improving fuel cell technology. In 2008, the company developed one of its first fuel cells, which weighed approximately 238 pounds and could produce enough energy to generate 121 horsepower. Toyota’s current fuel cells are much more efficient, less expensive, and lightweight, weighing approximately 123 pounds and being able to produce 153 horsepower.