Toyota names its new fuel-cell vehicle
Tokyo, Nov 17 (IANS) Toyota Motor Corp. Monday announced name of its soon to be launched hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle “Mirai” meaning future in Japanese.
Toyota’s President and CEO, Akio Toyoda, said in a video message ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show, that the Mirai is a chance for Toyota to make a fundamental difference in the auto industry, and bring fuel-cell vehicles into the mainstream, Xinhua reported.
He added that it is a paradigm shift in the industry. Some experts have equated it with the 1997 launch of its then game-changing Prius hybrid.
“For us, this isn’t just another car. This is an opportunity, an opportunity to really make a difference. And making a difference is what Toyota is all about,” Toyoda said.
“All of us at Toyota believe in a future that will be safer, greener and easier for everyone,” he added.
According to him, the car can travel up to 500 km on a single tank of compressed hydrogen, with refueling at a charging station taking a mere 5-minutes.
Toyoda himself explained how the car’s fuel cells convert hydrogen gas into electricity, which is stored in batteries, with the only emissions being water vapor.
He said that the Mirai’s fully-charged tank could generate the equivalent amount of electricity to supply a typical household for one week.
Toyota said Mirai will hit markets in Japan later this year and will be available in Europe early next year. By the summer of 2015 it will go on sale on the west coast of the United States and be available in the northeast by around 2016.
The car will come with a price tag of around 7 million yen (about $60,000).