by Tony West
After I caught the press conference of Toyota President Akio Toyoda unveiling the new Mirai, I’m definitely intrigued. The Mirai – which means “future” in Japanese, is Toyota’s first fuel cell vehicle that has a 300-mile range on a single tank of hydrogen. The hydro-whip emits only water vapor and refuels in less than five minutes. Dizzamm!
The highly efficient, super effective eco-friendly powertrain can give the Ford Fusion and the Tesla a run for their money. While there aren’t enough specs released for me to give it two enthusiastic thumbs up, I can say that this vehicle is Toyota’s leap into the future and passed many of its competitors who have a longer charge time and shorter driving range.
To support Mirais introduction to the region in 2016, Toyota is collaborating with Air Liquide to develop and supply a phased network of 12 state-of-the-art hydrogen stations targeted for New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
This new announcement builds on Toyotas previous support for hydrogen infrastructure development in California. In May 2014, Toyota announced a $7.3 million loan to FirstElement Fuels to support the operations and maintenance of 19 hydrogen fueling stations across the state. The commitment augments funding provided by the California Energy Commission, and makes Toyota the only OEM to provide working capital for infrastructure development.