Toyota plans to produce 10 times more Mirai hydrogen electric vehicles

Toyota plans to produce 10 times more Mirai hydrogen electric vehicles
Toyota's inertia in the "pure-blood" electric vehicle segment can be explained by the huge investment in the development of the Mirai car on hydrogen fuel cells. The first-generation car found only about 11 thousand owners, but Toyota expects that its successor will sell at least 100 thousand copies.

Production of the first-generation Mirai hydrogen car was carried out in small series, at the same enterprise that produced the Lexus LFA supercar, and this negatively affected the final cost of the car. In the rare cases when the first-generation Mirai was transferred to the owner's property, the latter had to pay at least $60,000. The successor, which is already ready to enter the market, will reduce the market value to $50,000.

However, the main deterrent to the spread of Mirai on the planet is not even the high price, but the limited development of refueling infrastructure — to generate electric current for engines, this vehicle must be refueled with high-pressure hydrogen. Although hydrogen extraction from water by electrolysis is the most environmentally friendly way to produce fuel, it requires high costs not only for the electrolysis process itself, but also for subsequent transportation and storage. In this sense, it is more profitable to combine gas stations with installations for the electrolytic conversion of water into hydrogen and oxygen.

The second-generation Mirai will be able to store 5.6 kg of hydrogen in three tanks, which is more than the 4.6 kg inherent in its predecessor. This corresponds to a conditional power reserve of 650 km, and you can replenish your fuel reserves in five minutes. The design of the car implies the presence of three tanks for storing hydrogen, one of them is located under the floor of the cabin in the area of the Central tunnel. The latter, because of this, turned out to be quite voluminous — it not only clearly separates the driver and the front passenger, but should also create certain inconveniences for the average passenger on the back sofa, who nominally can claim to be present in the cabin.

The Mirai power plant increased its output from 114 to 128 kW after the change of generations, while the space it occupies decreased from 33 to 24 liters. The traction battery reduced the number of cells from 370 to 330, but the efficiency of charge storage increased. All these technical changes have allowed the Toyota Mirai to increase its range by 30 % compared to its predecessor, up to 650 km. Representatives of the company note that the car also accelerates faster, and the presence of rear-wheel drive and almost perfect weight distribution on the axes (50 : 50) gives it a gambling handling.

In the new generation, the Toyota Mirai shares a platform with the group's flagship sedan, the Lexus LS. From him, the car inherited not only a multi-link rear suspension, but also a more luxurious interior, while reducing the cost compared to the first generation of the hydrogen car. Toyota expects to sell tens of thousands of second — generation Mirai, or at best, at least a hundred thousand. Along the way, we will have to develop a gas station network, but there are not so many relevant initiatives now compared to the same charging stations for electric vehicles. In Japan itself, for example, there are currently no more than 127 hydrogen gas stations, and according to the country's government, for the convenience of operating the corresponding machines, their number should be increased to at least 900 units.

Even if Mirai does not allow Toyota to win a significant share of the market for passenger cars with new generation power plants, the Corporation will be able to use the experience gained when creating cargo and railway transport on hydrogen fuel cells.
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