Toyota Mirai Gets Fueled by Haters Calling Bullsh*t
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.
Read our full review here.