The world might not know it yet, but the Mirai is Toyota’s next big thing. It’s the hydrogen-powered car that takes the next step past the Prius. Despite all the advancements in the area of fuel cell technology, some analysts – Toyota says – are calling bullsh*t.

Interestingly enough, Toyota agrees with them – not that hydrogen cars are a bad idea, but that bullsh*t is a great source for creating hydrogen fuel. To demonstrate, Toyota is producing a video series called “Fueled by Everything,” in which the automaker explains the process of creating hydrogen while showing off its latest product.

Without spoiling the video’s plot or diving into science that’s way beyond my degree in journalism, manure can be turned into hydrogen using a digester that breaks down the cow pies, releasing biogas in the process. The gas is then collected and purified before being sent to a steam-methane reformer. From that reforming process comes pure hydrogen, which can then be used for fuel.

From that point, the news is all about the Mirai and how it produces power from hydrogen. For that run-down, check out our full 2016 Mirai review. The Readers’ Digest version is this: the hydrogen combines with oxygen inside the fuel cell and produces DC electrical current. It’s that electrical energy that’s used to power the Mirai’s electric motors.

So yes, Toyota can in fact, power the Mirai on bullsh*t.

Continue reading to learn more about Toyota’s latest "Fueled by Everything" Series.

Why it matters

While cow manure isn’t the only source for producing hydrogen, it is a viable option. The video more or less argues that hydrogen is a clean, renewable, and more importantly, viable alternative to fossil fuels. Toyota is heavily investing in hydrogen station networks in both the Northeast and Southern California. It’s in those markets that the Mirai will be marketed, eventually spreading as the hydrogen infrastructure grows.

Toyota Mirai

2016 Toyota Mirai High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review here.

Press Release

Sometimes reality stinks. Toyota has tapped award-winning documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock to show how calling hydrogen fuel cell vehicles “bullsh*t” isn’t far from the truth.

“Fueled by Bullsh*t” is the first online video in a multi-part “Fueled by Everything” series aimed to educate a broad audience about the innovative ways hydrogen fuel can be made from renewable sources. Spurlock directed the 3-minute piece which features a dairy farmer and mechanical engineer as they follow cow manure from a mooing supply source to its ultimate use in powering the hydrogen fuel cell electric Toyota Mirai.

“This project gave us the opportunity to dive into a world that most people don’t understand but has the potential to change our world,” said Spurlock. “Witnessing manure, something most of us view as being pretty disposable, being transformed into hydrogen fuel to power a car was pretty remarkable. I think this short film is pretty compelling evidence of what could be possible in the years ahead.”

Beyond high quality dung, hydrogen can be manufactured from other renewable energy sources like solar, wind and biogas from landfills. These production methods can result in a domestic and locally sourced fuel that powers the Mirai while emitting only water vapor from the tailpipe.

The multi-series video campaign is launching through the Toyota Mirai website (www.toyota.com/mirai) and additional digital properties with paid online media support. The Toyota Mirai site will also feature a deeper dive into the scientific process of creating hydrogen fuel, with explanations from scientists and experts in the field. This content will also appear across Toyota social and media partner sites, including Forbes.com, YouTube and Hulu.

“We’re putting hydrogen in the spotlight for its exciting potential as a renewable fuel source,” said Bob Carter, senior vice president, automotive operations, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. “This is the beginning of the road for hydrogen, but we see the potential and we’re making a long-term investment in the future.”

The four-door, mid-sized Toyota Mirai delivers performance similar to traditional internal combustion engines – re-fueling in about five minutes and a range of up to 300 miles on a full tank. The Mirai will go on sale in California later this year.

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