Toyota has unabashedly declared that it thinks the future fuel of automobiles is hydrogen. To back up this bold assertion, the automaker has boldly forged ahead with the Mirai, which is the first production hydrogen-powered model from the automaker.
Some people wrongly think that fuel cells are a new technology, like they’re a big experiment that could go wrong. The reality is that Toyota knows what it’s doing with using hydrogen to power the Mirai. In the not too-distant future, even more vehicles could be powered by the alternative fuel, sparking a true revolution in how everyone gets around. In other words, the company is on the verge of something big, and it’s been careful to ensure that it will deliver everything consumers expect and deserve.
Back in 1995, Toyota created its first fuel cell stack, which is essential to make hydrogen fuel cell vehicles work. The company has been working tirelessly since, improving on the design to the point that it has been perfected enough for everyday use by the public.
Keep in mind that Toyota has a history of starting revolutions in the automotive industry. After all, it created the Prius, which became a huge global sensation and made gasoline-electric hybrid powertrains much more common.
The hydrogen system has two fuel tanks made of carbon fiber. When air flows through the Toyota Mirai’s front grills, it is redirected to the fuel cell stack. The hydrogen also travels to the fuel cell stack, where it reacts with the oxygen to create electricity. A motor is powered by the electricity, turning the wheels so the car travels down the road. One of the most amazing things about the whole process is that the only byproduct is water, which exits the vehicle through the tailpipe.
Thanks to extensive testing, Toyota has proven that fuel cell powertrains are safe to use. After two decades, the company has used the innovative technology in just about every climate and driving condition on the planet. It’s racked up millions of miles of tests on public roads and private tracks, pushing designs to their limits.
The technology has also been through numerous crash tests and experiments on the integrity of the fuel tanks themselves, all with the aim of ensuring that the fuel cell system is ready to provide a safe and reliable means of getting members of the public around. As a result, the company has built in numerous safety systems, like shut-off valves that automatically cut off the fuel tanks when a crash has been detected by sensors.