Test: The Toyota Mirai is so good in everyday life

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The fuel from this car is drinkable

250 million euros for the hydrogen and e-car industry

The drive of the future is clean, but so far the sale of emission-free cars has been sluggish. The federal government wants to change that in the next ten years with a funding program of millions. Source: Die Welt / Christin Brauer

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There are many prejudices against hydrogen cars. Toyota nevertheless dares to hit the German roads with its first car. In the practical test, the Mirai can invalidate two killer arguments of German petrol nostalgics.

L.os !!! ”The photographer waves his arms. I step on the accelerator, the wheels erase on the asphalt, the photographer and camera disappear into a dark cloud. A completely normal car test? Not really. I’m sitting in Toyota’s first fuel cell car.

One of 30 approved in Germany. That corresponds to half of the registered Rolls-Royce – in Munich. Toyota wants to change that in the future. Hence the name. “Mirai” is Japanese for “future”, and the future is fueling – hydrogen.

The dark cloud when accelerating can only be provoked if, like the PS WELT, you use a dirty tractor path between two Rhenish beet fields for your tests. At the back of the Mirai, only one thing actually comes out below: distilled water.

“Please check!”, The editors had ordered, so that the author found himself in the middle of nowhere under a Japanese car of the future. With a caipirinha glass. Result: What comes out of the back of the Mirai is actually just water. Without any software intervention.

Test: The Toyota Mirai is so good in everyday life-life

Hydrogen is considered to be the fuel of the future. It already serves as a source of energy for the Mirai – and makes the unconventionally styled limousine the first series-production fuelllen car from Toyota

Source: Thomas Faehnrich

But the automotive future in Germany rarely fails because of the question of how much water a car produces per 100 kilometers, but because of its suitability for everyday use. So let’s start with petrol head question number one: range. Toyota has a practical answer to this. About 500 kilometers are in there with a hydrogen filling. No less than most gasoline-powered vehicles.

In order to directly invalidate the number two killer argument among German petrol nostalgics: the refueling process, which is the case with so many electric cars takes several hours, the Mirai only takes three or four minutes.

That’s how long it takes the Japanese of the future to store five kilograms of hydrogen in two high-strength special tanks to bunker. The fuel enters the Mirai from the column at a sensational pressure of 700 bar. For comparison: car tires are inflated to around two bar.

In the Toyota Mirai you feel like Captain Future

Toyota has therefore given some thought to the issue of safety. Tank with carbon fiber outer shell, sensors and mechanical fuses ensure safety when refueling and in the event of an accident. A fuel cell then takes care of it in the belly of the Mirai about generating electricity from hydrogen and oxygen.

Whatever exactly happens chemically: What is important is what comes out. In the case of the Mirai, a very useful propulsion with almost 160 hp, a torque of 335 Newton meters and a sensational CO2 emission value of – zero. Incidentally, the costs per kilogram of hydrogen are standardized across Germany: 1000 grams are available for 9.50 euros. Depending on the current gasoline price, this is no more expensive than traditional fuel per 100 kilometers.

The Mirai has spurt qualities. Like many electric cars, it leaves most of the petrol and diesel engines at the start of the traffic light. Later, however, the others catch up again, because Toyota gives 9.6 seconds for the sprint from 0 to 100 km / h. Better acceleration is simply not possible with all the future technology under the hood and an empty weight of 1850 kilos.

Test: The Toyota Mirai is so good in everyday life-test

What happens under the sheet metal is also futuristic. The Mirai is powered by a 113 kW electric motor

Source: Thomas Faehnrich

What is noticeable: In contrast to most purely electric cars, the drive concept develops a quiet but audible background noise both when stationary and when driving. So the car also runs acoustically. This has the advantage that the driver receives subtle feedback on the operating status.

The noise when the Mirai accelerates has something discreetly spaceship-like. Make way for Captain Future! But where there is light, there is also a little shadow in the future of Japan. It starts with the tank infrastructure for the eco sedan advertised as the ideal long-haul vehicle.

27 publicly accessible hydrogen filling stations are hidden in Germany. According to Toyota, another 13 will be added by May 2017. For comparison: We get petrol and diesel at more than 14,000 filling stations in Germany. Mirai pilots must therefore always plan their trips well.

Anyone who feels called to be an early adopter of Japanese alternative drives must like the “air in water” silhouette of the Mirai. Manga readers and Transformer fans have a clear advantage here. They will also like the futuristic interior with super sharp OLED displays, which in the basic configuration hardly leaves any Tekki wishes unfulfilled.

Maybe there will soon be sports cars with fuel cells

If you are still ready to spend almost 80,000 euros to drive a car that not everyone has, the Mirai is the four-wheeled equivalent of a “Nuclear power? No thanks ”sticker. Provided, however, that the hydrogen used comes from ecological production.

Finite oil reserves, environmental damage during production, particulate matter pollution and, and, and: the list of arguments against petrol and diesel is long. Norway, the Netherlands and other countries have recognized this and want new registrations of gasoline and diesel cars ban from 2025. Others could follow. Toyota is therefore doing the right thing strategically with the Mirai.

And we petrolheads? Maybe the next fuel cell is already in a sports car. In any case, the future of the automobile is inevitable. It’s definitely eco, it may make spaceship noise, and it will be fun. Hopefully.

Test: The Toyota Mirai is so good in everyday life-mirai

The Mirai doesn’t have to be plugged in for eight hours. The refueling process only takes a few minutes

Source: Thomas Faehnrich

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16 thoughts on “Test: The Toyota Mirai is so good in everyday life”

  1. On the subject of energy consumption and CO2 relevance of H2 and its production:
    I recommend studying the EUCAR / Concawe study: "JEC Well to wheels report" (to Google). You then find that the energy consumption w-t-w of fossil fuels is higher than that of H2 from natural gas (including compression and transport). Despite the fossil source of natural gas, H2 is 30-50% cheaper in CO2 than gasoline and even better than battery cars when charged from the German electricity mix.
    Of course, things will only get round when both H2 and battery power come from renewable sources. Then battery cars are the best in terms of both CO2 and energy consumption. Then comes Bz cars with H2 via power-to-gas (green electricity electrolysis). In terms of energy consumption, biofuels are the highest (albeit low in terms of CO2).

    From a storage point of view, there is no way around hydrogen, even if the efficiency of the chain is worse than that of battery cars (which could not store the required amounts of energy with the planned expansion of renewables).

    In my opinion, it is not important to start immediately with green, hydrogen (which is also more expensive) and to make the inhibition threshold even higher. Cars are expensive gen

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  2. The 700 bar sounds admittedly quite dangerous. However, the risk of such tanks bursting is extremely low because they are made of a composite material that has withstood the toughest tests: truck accidents, gunfire; Crash tests etc. The tanks only exploded when they were hit by armor-piercing weapons. The probability that you will encounter this in traffic is then rather low. When fired with rifle ammunition, a light was created from which the hydrogen escaped at high pressure, but the container did not burst
    What many are not even aware of is the explosiveness of the gasoline tanks. Is it known that 15,000 cars burn down in Germany every year? Nobody talks about it, let alone the fact that someone no longer drives a car because of it.

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  3. Unfortunately, all of this is still in its infancy.
    No infrastructure and everything is far too expensive for an ordinary person.
    Safety issues … well … 700 bar. You’re practically sitting on a live bomb.
    And the question of where the hydrogen comes from is another thing … because producing in large quantities is usually associated with a high expenditure of energy. Here the energy problem is simply shifted away from the road and towards the power plant.

    Still, I don’t think we can get around this technology. The only question is how the remaining problems can be solved and how one manages to get a reasonable cost-benefit factor out.

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  4. I doubt that you can actually drink the fuel from a hydrogen car. I don’t know what the physiology of many other people looks like, but I can only swallow cold hydrogen at -273 ° C with great difficulty … always have to burp so much because everything evaporates on the way to the stomach. And this heartburn afterwards only from the cold burns in the esophagus … no, I prefer to drink the condensed exhaust gases from this car!

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  5. It’s a shame if you can’t read. The article says that "Waste product" is PURE DISTILLED WATER from the exhaust. So not potable water. So you don’t come into contact with hydrogen at all. If you were to drink distilled water it would deprive your body of all essential minerals and in the worst case scenario you would die.

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  6. Instead of gossip about petrol nostalgic people, I would like more technical depth. In my experience, there are hardly any petrol nostalgic people anymore. But there are a lot of technical problems with the new technologies, such as the extremely expensive precious metals that are required for production in the fuel cell. Would be interesting to find out whether there are any solutions. Personally, I have now bought a plug-in hybrid for the first time.

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  7. Solutions are emerging. Currently there is a maximum of 20 g of platinum in a car fuel cell, Honda, as far as I know, already uses 7 g. Current market price: $ 210. One can hardly speak of a cost driver anymore. The tanks and the one-off production of the fuel cell are expensive. Series production would cause prices to drop dramatically because a fuel cell stack is ridiculously easy to manufacture compared to an engine

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  8. Most manufacturers have given up on hydrogen for good reason. The problems with durability, efficiency or storage are still so serious that these cars are no real alternative.
    The € 80,000 for the Toyota shows that.
    For the money you get 2 plug-in hybrids made in Germany.
    Only the concept of the plug-in hybrid can be seen as real progress.

    German premium manufacturers offer this concept – depending on the driving profile – the possibility of reducing fuel consumption by 50 to 80%..

    Anyone who has a petrol driving profile is better off with a plug-in.
    In addition, the car is lighter, more robust and more resource-efficient than any H2 Mobil. Which is also reflected in the price. The future will continue to belong to the diesel and the plug-in gasoline engine.

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  9. Mercedes, Audi and BMW have just announced a new hydrogen offensive in the last few weeks because, on the one hand, the question of the battery has not been clarified in the case of e-cars (charging time, charging cycles, disposal and range (= charge density) and because hydrogen is to be expected is becoming increasingly important as a storage medium for electricity from renewable energy and a buffer for basic security power plants. Then prices fall.
    If I were to put my money into it, I would be more in favor of the fuel cell (possibly not necessarily with hydrogen) than with diesel or plug-ins.

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  10. "Stupid" Question from a layperson. Here it is written that the car has 160 hp and a torque of 335 Newton meters. Could one also reduce this power (in my diesel I have 250 Newton meters) and thus tease out a longer range? Thank you in advance? If so, that would be the solution for me because I consider electric cars to be stillbirth on long journeys.

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  11. No, reducing the power hardly brings anything.
    When driving steadily at 100 km / h, the car only needs about 25HP anyway. That’s how much the electric motor delivers. If you want to reduce consumption, you have to reduce weight or rolling and air resistance.
    Incidentally, it is no different with incineration. Diesel engines e.g. with 2 liters are available in different power levels. Partly from 110 to 240 hp. They consume almost the same amount on the autobahn.

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  12. What I always fail to understand in such a discussion is the fact that the environmental balance of alternative drives is taken into account. Suddenly the energy consumption that is needed to fill the hydrogen tank with 700 bar or to produce the hydrogen is even important.
    In return, you then boast that it is a conventional car "only" 5-8 l / 100 km consumed. Quasi as if extraction, production, transport and the like were completely CO2 neutral with gasoline / diesel engines.

    Of course, the alternative drives are not yet perfectly developed, but they are the beginning and some want to talk it to death. Everyone is free to continue driving their e.g. VW Diesel with cheat software and to pretend that this is the blocking tip of engineering. It is doubtful whether this intellectual standstill will benefit the German auto industry.

    In major German cities and metropolitan areas, at least electric and hybrid cars have long ceased to be an inconspicuous marginal phenomenon. Admittedly, not a mass phenomenon either. Give the hydrogen car something that your diesel / gasoline engine also had in development: namely time.

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  13. Because it is a problem if you need the energy that is in 10 liters of diesel just for refueling.
    In the case of gasoline, for example, the calculation is very simple. You calculate 10 kWh per liter of Whell to tank. So from the borehole to the fuel tank. approx. 8.5 kWh in gasoline and approx. 1.5 kWh for extraction, processing, transport. That is what it is to beat.

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  14. In any case, I would find such a fuel cell car more suitable for everyday use than such a battery car, which is loosely charged. What I ask myself, however, is where you want to get all the hydrogen (or, for the battery-powered racers, the electricity) in an environmentally friendly way. In Germany, you probably need a wind turbine every 1 to 2 kilometers and half the landscape is paved with solar panels, because nuclear power as a CO2-free energy source has been irrevocably put into political sideline in this country??
    Or in the end we will generate electricity and hydrogen from oil and coal and just run as if we were eco?

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  15. The only reasonably efficient method to obtain hydrogen is directly from natural gas.
    Everything else is pure waste.

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  16. € 80,000? How was that at the beginning of the article about the Rolls-Royce? There won’t be a new one for it, but at 80,000 I don’t see that it will be the new Volks-Wagen.

    Reply

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