Published: Sat, October 12, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Toyota Mirai Going Upscale With Total Redesign

Toyota Mirai Going Upscale With Total Redesign

As before it'll be exclusively hydrogen-powered, but the automaker is targeting a 30-percent increase in range from the current auto through a combination of boosted fuel-cell efficiency and a larger hydrogen storage capacity.

Toyota Motor Corp. announced that it will roll out a prototype of a new model of its fuel-cell vehicle Mirai at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, which will open on October 24. Toyota Motor Corporation has announced it will showcase LQ concept vehicle powered by artificial intelligence at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show.

Instead of relying on a heavy lithium-ion battery pack to power electric motors, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles work by combining hydrogen in fuel cell to produce electricity. The only emission it creates from the tailpipe is water. Our conundrum is where there is at least a link - albeit a tenuous one - between electric vehicles and driving thrills, hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles have still yet to form one. They have an electric motor that's powered by a hydrogen fuel cell.

In the on-going tussle between battery-powered and combustion engine vehicles, Toyota's hydrogen fuel cell technology seems to combine the best of both worlds - fossil-free EV propulsion paired with the range and refueling time of a traditional ICE-powered auto.

Toyota presented the first Mirai generation in 2014.

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The second-generation Mirai is built on a rear-wheel drive platform, a major departure from the original front-wheel drive version in terms of design. A 12.3-inch infotainment screen dominates the dashboard, an all-electronic instrument panel resides behind a very sporty-looking steering wheel, and there's an abundance of copper-coloured trim accents, leather upholstery and contrast stitching to add a luxe sheen.

The second-generation Mirai is expected to be launched in 2020 in Japan, North America and Europe. Toyota is targeting a 30-percent increase in range compared to the current Mirai which is good for about 300 miles.

In a partnership with Toyota and Royal Dutch Shell, Shell has four hydrogen filling stations in California and is now working with the support of the State of California, to further develop its hydrogen refuelling network.

Not only does this new Mirai look worlds better than the vehicle it replaces, but it should also be much nicer to drive as well.

Improvements have been made to shrink the size of hydrogen fuel tanks and reduce the amount of costly platinum needed for fuel cell stacks. Sales may be expanded to some states in the Northeast and Northwest, pending their buildup of hydrogen station networks.

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