Futuristic Toyota Mirai seems ready for the road

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Japan leads the race for a hydrogen

Driving on hydrogen seems to be the future. But the shown hydrogen cars ain’t completely green.

Still Toyota and Hyundai have made a valiant attempt. Last year, Hyundai presented an existing SUV that had been converted to a hydrogen car.

Toyota introduced the new Mirai, designed with a fuel cell.

Now the main technical problems have been resolved:

the car with fuel cell is market proof.

Benefits of running on hydrogen are:

  • the great distance that can be traveled on a tank (approximately 600 kilometers by the Mirai)
  • the short time it takes to fill the tank (about 4 minutes)
  • the cars are remarkable still and drives like an electric car

There are also disadvantages:

  • one of the most important is the still limited number of filling stations in Europe and America
  • the fuel is not cheap: around 14 dollars per kilo, which equates to almost 13 cents per kilometer
    Similar to gasoline in Europe, but roughly twice as expensive as electricity

Fossil

A preliminary bigger problem is that most of the hydrogen is extracted from natural gas, with the old fashioned release of CO2. Comparing with electric cars, which are emission free, this is a big disadvantage. In between: Shell plans to produce hydrogen from natural gas in Qatar. The released CO2 will be pumped deep into the desert earth. This proces will provide clean hydrogen and barely any climate disturbing. It could be an interim solution until the green production with electrolysis using wind energy will be cheaper.

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