It was the summer of 2000. The world had comfortably survived the Millennium Bug, Kylie Minogue’s “Spinning Around” was on top of the music charts in the UK, and Google had just released the first 10 language versions of Google.com in French, German, Italian, Swedish, Finnish, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Norwegian and Danish. In Rotterdam, the very first production Toyota Prius hybrid to be sold in Europe reached the continent.
Prius means “to go before” – a precursor to a new era of electrified mobility. Today, the first production Toyota Mirai – meaning “the future” in Japanese – destined for the European market has arrived, and, like its elder, it is here to pioneer the next step in clean mobility, using hydrogen as fuel and emitting nothing but water vapour.
The first five Mirai cars were unloaded in Bristol, UK and Zeebrugge, Belgium, respectively on 8 and 10 August.
“This marks the debut of a new age for clean mobility — a turning point in the history of automobiles. With Mirai, Toyota is working on bringing clean, safe and enjoyable mobility for the next 100 years, thanks to fuel cell technology. We are looking forward to the start of delivery of the first Mirai to customers from September and to see the future taking shape on European roads. As with Prius 15 years ago, we are proud to bring yet another groundbreaking innovation to Europe with Mirai”, said Mr Karl Schlicht, Executive Vice-President Toyota Motor Europe.
The Toyota Mirai is the world’s first mass-produced fuel cell sedan. After its first public display in Europe in March at the Geneva Motor Show, today marks its debut on European ground. Already sold in Japan since last December, the Toyota Mirai will be launched in Europe from September in the UK, Denmark and Germany.
With Mirai, Toyota is at the forefront of the fuel cell development thanks to our advanced engineering capabilities and our deep knowledge and experience of Hybrid technology. Mirai will allow us to grow awareness, knowledge and acceptance of the fuel cell technology and to promote the development of the required hydrogen infrastructure. It will also help us understand customer experience with the new technology, with trailblazers who want to drive the hydrogen movement forward.
Mirai uses the pioneering Toyota Fuel Cell System (TFCS), which features both fuel cell technology and hybrid technology, and includes Toyota’s new proprietary fuel cell stack and high-pressure hydrogen tanks.
Using hydrogen as fuel to generate electricity, Mirai achieves superior environment performance with no CO2 emissions or pollutants when driving, and the same level of convenience and autonomy as gasoline engine vehicles, with a generous cruising range and a hydrogen refuelling time of about three to five minutes.
It’s now halfway through the 83rd Geneva Motor Show. If you’re still planning to head out and check out all the latest Toyota and Lexus products coming to a showroom near you, you have until this Sunday, March 17. For now, it’s a good time as any to post a selection of photos and videos for those who can’t make it to the Palexpo. Enjoy after the break. (more…)