Quick test: The Toyota Mirai is a hydrogen-powered electric car, but it’s almost impossible to refuel  Measurements

Quick test: The Toyota Mirai is a hydrogen-powered electric car, but it’s almost impossible to refuel Measurements


calm down, The Toyota has no intention of launching Mirai in Brazil – apart from that! The Japanese brand knows the power of fat cell (we will explain in a moment), but understand that this technology is difficult and very expensive (very!) Even in developed countries. But that did not stop the unit from being imported from Japan for testing in this country.

Mirai It means “later” in Japanese. The perfect choice for a car that seems to have traveled back in time. And after a few trips, I regretted the fact that he used hydrogen for fuel. A standard electric version (that plugs into the outlet) would make a great car for our market.

Let’s do it step by step. Before explaining the advantages and disadvantages of this new type of motor, it is worth taking a short electrochemistry class to understand. how hydrogen turns into electricity.

Toyota Mirai 2023 has three hydrogen tanks and a range of 600 km – Photo: Disclosure

While conventional electricity is supplied directly from the outlet, the Mirai is fueled by hydrogen gas. THE Toyota placed three tanks in the lower part of the car, where the electric car batteries would be. The luxury sedan fuel is stored there.

Hydrogen is pressed into a catalyst, where its ions and electrons are separated. The electrons create an electric current that is sent to the motor, making the car’s wheels spin and the electronic systems work. Oxygen molecules combine with the remaining hydrogen ions, forming water.

Toyota Mirai, Hyundai Nexo and Honda Clarity are the only cars powered by hydrogen cells.

In other words: instead of gasoline, we have hydrogen. And instead of toxic exhaust fumes, just water. If you have an appetite, it is possible to drink this water, but it does not contain mineral salts or any nutritional properties.

Like gasoline, in five minutes Mirai’s hydrogen tanks will be full.

Hydrogen powered vehicles solve the electricity problem: waiting time to load. While the owner of a battery-powered electric car will have to find a charging station and wait several minutes (or even hours) to charge, the owner of Mirai you just have to find the hydrogen bomb and fill the tanks. This process takes less than five minutes, according to Toyota.

Liberty is another strong point of cars powered by hydrogen cells. When you can count on your fingers (on one hand) electric cars with the ability to run more than 600 km for now, Toyota Mirai exceeds that number. You can drive from São Paulo (SP) to Uberlândia (MG) with just one tank.

non-existent infrastructure

Mirai is a distant dream for the Brazilian market – Photo: Disclosure

Now let’s get to the boring part, which does Toyota Mirai it is not possible for 2022. infrastructure for hydrogen cell-powered vehicles is still very expensive, even as a result of the limited supply of vehicles in the category. Apart from Mirai, only new Hyundai Nexo and Honda Clarity share technology.

To give you an idea of ​​how expensive it is, the manufacturer even budgeted for the installation of a distribution system, imported from Europe, for the plant in Sorocaba (SP). The final value of the “post” will be 800 thousand euros – BRL 4.2 million in a simple conversion. That is…

The interior of Mirai has a button that removes the water produced by the splitting of ions and electrons – Image: Explanation

Since it is not possible to use the money, the solution was to find an alternative way with some companies here in Brazil. THE Toyota he got some hydrogen cylinders and improved the Mirai fuel valve. The problem is that this design does not reach the pressure of 700 bar that is required to fill the tanks – it is around 105 bar. then of Mirai it has to remain connected for several days to regain its independence.

Before leaving for the track, a Toyota engineer made an informal request: “don’t put your foot on the Mirai”. When I got into the car, I saw that the panel marked only 50 kilometers of autonomy left. The possibility of a sedan suffering a “dry break” was real, so I decided to go.

The XLE version costs the equivalent of BRL 250,000 in the US — Photo: Disclosure

in the version XLE ($ 49,000, or R $ 250 thousand), the only one that Toyota ordered, the Mirai are ongoing 182 hp of strength and 22 kgfm of torque. Steering is rear-wheel drive – and like any electric car, Mirai it is not infected.

I was surprised by the comfort. The engine is not noisy and the sound of the wind on the windshield is also almost non-existent. This is due to the aerodynamic design that makes the air flow better to reduce drag and improve usability. The 235/55 R19 tires are also very quiet.

Suspension balance is excellent. The feeling is sailing, with no vibrations or vibrations heard in the cabin. In curves, the body roll is stable, proving to be sufficient for a sedan of this level. O Mirai remember camry, prioritizing comfort as a good executive car. According to ToyotaThe electric car takes approx 9.1 seconds reach 100 kilometers per hour. The numbers are far from impressive, but they are consistent with the proposition.

Despite a very short trial, I could see that Toyota Mirai it’s a good idea in terms of mobility and sustainability – unfortunately, not for Brazil. The trend is for the sedan to continue to hit the streets in big cities, such as Los Angeles (USA) and Tokyo (Japan), its main markets in the world. If around here we are still in the infancy of charging station infrastructure for electric vehicles, think of car fuel and hydrogen. Not to mention the price…

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