Toyota Receives U.K. Government Funding For The Toyota Mirai FCV
More hydrogen power slated to arrive on British roads in the near futureby Jonathan Lopez, on
The U.K. Government just decided to commit 600 million pounds to fund the proliferation of ultra-low emission vehicles by 2020. Included in that sum is a sizable amount earmarked for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, or FCV’s, and Toyota is getting in on the action with its H2-powered Mirai four-door sedan.
“We are proud to be at the forefront of bringing the benefits of ultra-low emission transport to the U.K. and welcome the Government’s announcement of funding that will enable more of our customers to introduce Mirai to their fleets,” said Paul Van der Burgh, Toyota’s U.K. President and Managing Director, in a press release.
Included in the investment will be 20 new Mirais slated to join various public and private sector fleets. Destinations set for delivery include the Science Museum, Aberdeen City Council, and Arval vehicle leasing service, all of which will use Toyota’s FCV for fleet purposes. The new Mirais are expected to see use by April of 2017.
In addition to actual cars, Toyota will provide support by opening new FCV specialist service centers throughout the U.K. These new service stations will be located in London, Swindon, Sheffield, Swansea, and Aberdeen.
As Toyota points out, Britain is ramping up its national H2 infrastructure network with new H2 refueling sites as well. The latest to open is located at the Center of Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence in Rainham, east London, where there also just so happens to be a Toyota Technical Training Center that offers instruction in fuel cell technology. The new station is the second in the U.K. to produce H2 fuel using solar energy.
Continue reading for the full story.
Why It Matters
Toyota introduced the Mirai at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, becoming one of the first automakers to sell hydrogen fuel cell vehicles publically and in large quantities. And while other automakers are following suit with their own FCV’s (Honda, for example, sells the Clarity), Toyota seems to be the only manufacturer to take the tech seriously.
In fact, last year Toyota announced plans to triple Mirai production in response to a surge in interest in the vehicle.
In case you were unaware, FCV’s like the Mirai use a fuel cell that combines hydrogen with oxygen pulled from the surrounding atmosphere, creating electricity in the process. The electricity is then used to power an electric motor and drive the car. The only byproduct from this process is water vapor.
It makes sense that Toyota is one of the first on the scene with H2 power, considering it was also one of the first to champion hybrid tech with the Prius. Benefits include quick refill times, long range, and of course, squeaky-clean emissions.
So then, why aren’t hydrogen cars a dime a dozen? To put it simply, all those pros are balanced with a bevy of cons, which include difficulty in creating the hydrogen fuel, high expense, and a lack of existing infrastructure.
You can check out my full rundown on the tech here.
What do you think? Is the new investment a wise move, or is it all just steam and mirrors? Should the U.S. invest more heavily in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles?
Let us know in the comments.
Read our full review on the 2016 Toyota Mirai here.