Tag: Toyota Hydrogen Car

The Futuristic FCV Concept by Toyota is Something to See

September 29, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , ,

toyota-fcv-conceptToyota made a lasting impression at the 2016 Paris Motor Show with its FCV concept vehicle. The pint-sized car looks like a flying vehicle straight out of the Jetsons and focuses on futuristic technology that we might benefit from in a decade from now.

 

Unique Styling

The most notable thing about this concept car is its outward appearance. The little vehicle looks like a flying car out of the Jetsons. Of course it doesn’t fly, but the way that the front end of the vehicle was designed, the car has a lifted up look that makes it appear to glide as it moves down the road. The door is actually a series of separate ribs, and has a pretty edgy look. The rear wheels are nearly entirely encapsulated, and only peak out the bottom of the car body slightly.

Hydrogen Powered

Toyota is all for hydrogen power, and the automaker believes it is the fuel of the future. That’s why it should be no surprise that the FCV concept runs on hydrogen just like the Mirai. This vehicle can be filled with hydrogen, and will propel you down the road, or it can be used to send power to your home or back into your community itself.

In-Wheel Motors

This concept vehicle relies on a unique motor setup that places the motors within the wheels themselves. There are four small motors that reside in the compact wheels, and they offer all-wheel drive performance and will propel you down the road nearly silently.

Power Your Home or Community

This concept vehicle can be attached to your home or even to a community power line to provide power for your neighbors. The concept shows how you can use your vehicle for more than just getting around. By keeping your car full of hydrogen, you could theoretically use it as a generator for your home, or to send power back into your local grid for the benefit of other people nearby. It’s a pretty cool concept and I could see it being quite useful in the event of an apocalypse that leaves people without widespread power, though then how will we all get our hands on the hydrogen needed to run the car?

It’s unlikely that moist of the tech shown off in the FCV concept is going to make its way into a Toyota car in the near future, but it shows where styling is headed, and how vehicles of the future could be composed.

A New More Affordable Toyota Mirai is on the Way

May 12, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , ,

There’s no arguing that the Toyota Mirai is a revolutionary vehicle, but such revolutionary technology comes at a cost, and that cost is about $50,000. That’s more than many car buyers are willing to spend, or can afford to spend. When the first wide-spread hydrogen fuel cell vehicle is selling for so much money, it keeps most people from being able to take advantage of the technology. Toyota is working to refine the technology that the Mirai relies on, to create a smaller, more affordable version for 2019.

Toyota mirai

Does that Mean a New Model or Mirai?

At the moment it’s unclear if Toyota means to create another hydrogen fuel cell model to compete alongside the Mirai, or to just further refine the Mirai and stop offering the original once the new and lest costly version is released.

A More Affordable Hydrogen Car By 2020

Toyota is the sponsor of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games, and it would be the perfect stage to present an all-new hydrogen fuel cell vehicle to the masses. With billions of viewers tuning in from around the world, there is literally no better way to get word out about the vehicle, and that’s why Toyota plans on having the vehicle completed before the Olympics.

A Lagging Infrastructure

Hydrogen fuel cell technology is being supported in just a few locations around the world, with Japan being the most enthusiastic proponent of the technology. There are currently around 80 refueling stations in Japan, and somewhere around 11 stations in California. Both of those figures need to go up dramatically for the Mirai to be the massive success that Toyota expects it to be with more than 30,000 models sold by 2020 in the US (around 210 have been sold in the US currently). There are plans for an additional 12 stations within California, and plans to put others up around the United States in large metropolitan areas.

If Toyota is able to get the cost of the Mirai down, much like the automaker did when it released the Prius c, more buyers will be willing to take the risk and buy a vehicle created from such new technology. It’s what Toyota is counting on, and it could be just the thing they need to really get that technology out there to the masses. It’s an exciting time to be a vehicle owner, and it’s likely that some pretty major innovations will be released by Toyota in the near future.

The Toyota Mirai Enters Production

March 2, 2015 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , ,

Toyota has just begun production of the Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle and the first few models should start rolling around public roadways in the next couple weeks. The car is only being sold in limited locations initially, mainly because there isn’t a hydrogen refueling infrastructure to support the vehicles yet, and it will only be available in small numbers for the first couple years, but Toyota is making it happen and actually producing the highly anticipated vehicles for mass consumption.

toyota mirai

Vehicles are Becoming Available Daily

Now that production of the Mirai has begun approximately three new vehicles will roll off the assembly line on a daily basis at the plant. This is just the starting point for vehicle production and it’s set to increase over time. There is a greater demand for the Mirai than expected, especially from Japan, and that’s making it crucial for the plant to begin producing higher volumes of the car over time.

Seeing How its Made

Perhaps in hopes of familiarizing people with hydrogen cars a bit more, Toyota wants the world to know what goes into its newest cars and has put together a series of short videos detailing the construction process. These little “How its Made” videos give you a firsthand look into the Mirai and the hard work involved with building one.

If you would like to see how the Mirai is made you can see the various stages in the videos below.

A Higher Profile Plant

It’s no surprise that the Mirai construction is going to take place at the Motomachi plant in Toyota City Japan. This is where many of the high-profile Toyota and Lexus vehicles are created, and where a vehicle as important as the Mirai should be manufactured. The plant was home to the Lexus LFA supercar, as well as many other high-profile vehicles such as the Supra, the Soarer and the Corona. The plant is known for its highly skilled workforce, and should help improve the quality of the finished product.

About the Mirai

If you haven’t heard much about the Toyota Mirai yet, its the first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell vehicle and is going to be out on the roads shortly. The vehicle is capable of getting 300 miles on each fill up and generates a total of 153 horsepower. The car costs about $45,000 and only limited numbers will be available during the first few years of production. Toyota hopes that it will pull consumers away from current gasoline powered vehicles and that it becomes the new mainstream form of mobility, but there are still hydrogen production and infrastructure details to work out before the technology becomes mainstream.

 




A Look at Toyota’s Fuel Cell Car the Mirai

November 23, 2014 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , , 0 Comments

Toyota recently unveiled their Hydrogen car, the Mirai, and it’s been greeted with mixed feelings. Some love the car, others hate it, but overall it was received pretty positively. Many critics and reviewers had a chance to drive around in the new hydrogen car, and many were pleasantly surprised by its performance. Read on to find out more about the first hydrogen fuel cell car available for purchase and how it’s pretty different from the Prius.

toyota mirai

Unexpectedly Swift Performance

At 4078 lbs. most people aren’t expecting the Mirai to be light on its feet, but it feels surprisingly good while driving. It comes equipped with a single 153 HP electric motor, that provides nearly instantaneous torque and powers the car from 0 to 60 in around 9 seconds. While it’s not a sports car, it doesn’t feel sluggish either.

One major benefit of all the hydrogen equipment installed in the vehicle is that it gives it a low center of gravity providing a sporty feel. The car can take corners quickly without suffering from body roll and it just feels good banking around corners.

Comfortable Interior

The Mirai is quiet and quite comfortable to ride around in. You’ll register a slight whirr from the electric motor and the regenerative brakes, but other than that you won’t hear much sound while traveling down the road in this car. Both the front and rear seats are heated, and they feature an ergonomic design that makes them a pleasure to ride around in. Unfortunately for those families of five, the Mirai only seats four people, but that does mean that each passenger gets a bit more space to enjoy.

Luxury Features

With a starting price of around $57,000 it’s important that the Mirai feels like a luxury vehicle within, and thankfully it does. It comes with a premium JBL sound system. It offers plush heated seats and an advanced media system run through a mid-sized touchscreen display. There’s another screen to handle climate control settings and to display vehicle information. The Mirai relies on quality materials, but you won’t find leathers or fancy wood trims within. Toyota used quality materials to build a safe and appealing interior, that won’t really jump out at you.

The system comes with a couple nice perks that you won’t find on many other vehicles. It features regenerative braking, similar to what is found on the Prius, to recoup braking power into more useful electricity. It also comes with a generator system, designed to let you power the essentials of your home for up to a week using your vehicle. This is in case of emergencies and could help you stay comfortable in case of a natural disaster.

Affordable Fuel

New Mirai owners won’t have to worry about paying for their fuel because Toyota is footing the bill for the Hydrogen for the first few years. That being said, it’s still pretty valuable to know what to expect once fuel stops being free and you actually have to pay for it. Currently Hydrogen costs about $10 per kilo to produce, which transfers to around a $4 or $5 per gallon equivalent. This could go down in the future if manufacturing technology improves, but that’s what you should expect right now. During testing the Mirai managed fuel efficiency levels of around an equivalent to 50 MPG, making it a pretty low-cost solution as far as fuel is concerned, but nothing that’s going to save you a fortune in the near future.

Overall there are still mixed feelings about the Mirai. Some people love it, most agree that it handles very well and is a pleasure to drive, but others are hesitant about the new technology. The fueling stations have a long way to go before they will become widespread, and the Mirai has a long road ahead of it as new adopters accept the technology. It starts at $57,000 but with government and state incentives it could be purchased for as little as $45,000 making it pretty affordable for such cutting edge technology.

Toyota is Releasing Their Hydrogen Fueled Car Next Month

November 18, 2014 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , , 0 Comments

Toyota has been going on about their hydrogen fuel cell cars for the past couple of years now, but it looks like they will finally become a reality on the road, starting next month. The car is to be dubbed the Toyota Mirai and the company hopes that it is to the car industry, what the Prius was back at the beginning of 2000. The hydrogen car looks very promising, but it’s not clear whether a strong enough hydrogen refueling station infrastructure can be developed.

toyota mirai

The Refueling Problem

Most manufacturers aren’t interested in creating a hydrogen refueling station or spending money to run it, because there aren’t any cars out on the road that need the technology. At the saem time. Most car buyers are apprehensive about picking up a hydrogen fuel cell car that they don’t have a way to refuel. This is a pretty classic problem with very new technology, and Toyota is working hard to solve the issue the smart way.

Solving the Issue

In order to solve this problem Toyota is working with the California government and forming partnerships with fuel companies eager to get into the growing industry. The government has pledged $200 million to put up 100 refueling stations around the state. Toyota gave a loan to FirstElement Fuels for $7.3 million in order for them to open up a handful of refueling stations early in the year to support the first cars released.

The Release of the Mirai

Toyota doesn’t expect the hydrogen car industry to be booming by the end of the year, but they do expect to make some sales. They predict a very modest 200 Mirai’s will be sold by the end of 2015 and expect around 3,000 sales by the end of 2017. The car will be sold for around $57,000 and may be eligible for up to an additional $13,000 off from federal tax credits and state rebates. This could drop the price as low as $45,000 for customers looking to buy the cars outright, but Toyota suspects that many of them will simply lease the vehicles for $499 a month.

Toyota as well as many other automakers have jumped through a bunch of hurtles in order ot make this technology a reality and it seems that we could see an industry shift away from gasoline and diesel fueled vehicles to much cleaner hydrogen powered cars. It’s a good shift for the environment, but its success hinges on these pioneering automakers to make it a reality.

Toyota Announces More Specifics about their Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car

July 2, 2014 lacarguy Green Auto Technology, Toyota Tags: , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Toyota has finally announced more information about their eagerly awaited hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. In Tokyo City less than a week ago they showed off what the exterior of the new sedan will look like and also gave a price and an expected release date for the vehicle. The only catch, all of this information only pertains to the Japanese model of the car. Toyota spoke briefly about a tentative release date of a similar vehicle in Europe and the United States, but it’s not as firm as the Japanese model.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgRO-V43Sjs]

The Details

Hydrogen fuel cell is one of the newest and most exciting ways to power a vehicle, and now the people of Japan have a deadline for when they can start buying Toyota’s first commercially-available hydrogen-powered vehicle. They expect to release the car before April of 2015, and it is expected to be priced at 7 million Yen, that’s approximately $69,000 by today’s exchange rates.

A Long Time Coming

Even though many people have only heard of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles in the last few years Toyota has been working on the concept heavily for the past 20 years, trying to develop the vehicle that they will be releasing soon. All of the time and effort put into this research put the automotive giant ahead of most automakers with this technology, allowing them to pioneer it much the same way that the Prius did for hybrid cars.

Improvements and Performance Expectations

Initially the fuel cell technology Toyota was relying on was not advanced enough to offer performance levels similar to a gasoline powered vehicle. Today Toyota says that’s not the case. Their current vehicle can travel up to 700 km (435 miles) on a single set of cells. Not only that but the refueling time for this vehicle is a mere three minutes, which is very comparable to gasoline vehicles as well. Now the only real hurdles left to overcome are getting up all of the necessary refueling stations to make travel with this vehicle convenient, and figuring out how to make these vehicles even more affordable. As long as fuel cell technology takes off as well as many people expect it to, these other issues will sort themselves out with time.

The Benefits of Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Fuel cells are much more environmentally friendly than gasoline is because they don’t emit any pollutants during operation, and can be made using clean energy sources such as wind and solar power. They are also expected to be more sustainable than fossil-fuel-reliant gasoline is making them a great source of power for future generations. If you live in Europe or the US you’ll have to wait until sometime in the summer before getting a chance to own one of these beauties, and pricing information hasn’t been made available yet.