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Toyota reveals hydrogen-powered Mirai for 2015

Date: 18 November 2014   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

Toyota has revealed its Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle which will go on sale in the UK next September.

No pricing has been announced, but Toyota said it is expecting to sell between 50 and 100 cars a year in 2015 and 2016. The guide price for the car in Japan is 6.7million yen, which equates around £43,500.

The car uses both fuel cell and hybrid technology, which includes the company's fuel cell stack and high-pressure hydrogen tanks, which powers a 135hp electric motor, which in turn gives drive to the front wheels.

Known as Toyota Fuel Cell Systems, it is claimed the system is more energy-efficient than normal internal combustion engines, and the hydrogen tanks can be refilled in three minutes. Toyota claims the Mirai's range is around 300 miles.

Should the hydrogen tanks leak, Toyota has developed sensors to provide warnings and shut off the main tanks, while the tanks are located outside the cabin. Toyota said if there is a leak the hydrogen will disperse quickly.

The Mirai also features a number of safety equipment as standard including a pre-collision system, a lane departure alert and a blind-spot monitor.

Honda also revealed its FCV vehicle, which will be on sale in the UK in the second half of 2016.

The Government revealed in October that it is injecting £11 million to support hydrogen transport in the UK in order to expand the nationwide hydrogen refuelling station network and is expecting to have 15 public stations open before the end of this year. There are further plans to expand the network to 65 hydrogen filling stations.

Of the £11m fund, £2.5 million will go to public sector fleets to encourage adoption of around 40 fuel cell vehicles in major cities. 

"By 2040 all new cars and vans will be ultra-low emission vehicles and this could be delivered by a variety of technologies, including plug-in hybrids, pure EVs and hydrogen," said Transport Minister Baroness Kramer.

"We want to ensure that support is there for all of these vehicles and that the UK continues to lead the pack in providing the right infrastructure to drive the switch to electric," said Kramer.