Toyota has revealed that it’s first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell car, which goes on sale in the UK next year, will be called the Mirai.
The word means ‘future’ in Japanese, and was chosen because Toyota believes that’s exactly what the Mirai represents.
Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda said: “Today, we are at a turning point in automotive history. A turning point where a four-door sedan can travel 300 miles on a single tank of hydrogen, can be refuelled in under five minutes and emit only water vapour.”
Toyoda also claimed that the hydrogen that the Mirai will run on can be made from virtually anything, “even garbage”, and that its fuel cell creates enough electricity to power a house for about a week.
The Mirai will be the second hydrogen-fuelled car available to paying customers in the UK; the first was the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell, which Hyundai started delivering to owners just last month.
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Pricing for the Mirai is still to be announced, but it’s likely to cost about £40,000 - around twice as much as a conventionally-powered hatchback.
Aside from the high price, the biggest hurdle it faces is the limited hydrogen refuelling infrastructure.
Earlier this year, Business Minister Matthew Hancock announced £11 million of government and industry funding to expand the hydrogen refuelling network, with the aim of giving the UK up to 15 refueling stations nationwide. However, that’s still a tiny amount compared with the number of conventional filling stations, which stands at about 8,500.