2017 Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell
(Photo : Auto Show/YouTube footage)
Those aspiring to own the new Toyota Mirai are in for good news, as the model year 2017 Mirai price has been kept the same as its predecessor. So it is the same $58,365 that can land one a brand new Mirai, which has recently been certified to be good for 312 miles on a tankful of hydrogen.
That makes the new Mirai more economical than the recent crop of electric cars that also boasts of a similar range on a single charge. However, apart from the price, the Mirai still has a distinct advantage over its "zero emission" peers; recharging a Mirai - or for that matter any hydrogen car - can be done in just 5 mins unlike several times more that an EV need to be plugged in to recharge its batteries.
Toyota has made driving a Mirai even more economical given that the monthly lease rate has been slashed from $499 to $349, AutoBlog reported. As per the 36-month lease terms, one will have to pay $2,499 upfront, which too has been slashed from $3,649 and allows for annual driving allowance of 12,000 miles. Leaseholder will also qualify for three years of free complimentary fuel.
However, so much for all the advantage that the Mirai comes for, the one factor that still has been holding back the large scale sale of Mirai is the lack of enough hydrogen fuel stations. Toyota seems to have hit upon an interesting solution to the issue that can lead to large scale production of affordable hydrogen fuel-producing hydrogen gas from sewage.
According to Quartz, Toyota is trapping bio-gas produced from human waste after due processing in a wastewater treatment plant in Fukuoka, Japan. There, the solid waste called sewage sludge gets treated with microorganisms to break down the solid waste. Biogas comprising of 60 percent methane and 40 percent carbon dioxide is produced in the process.
The carbon dioxide is extracted and water vapour is added, which creates hydrogen but more of carbon dioxide. At this point, the carbon dioxide is extracted so that it's pure hydrogen that is left over.
Yoshikazu Tanaka, chief engineer of the Toyota Mirai, said he is eager to replicate the same process in some of the biggest metro cities, which it hopes will solve the world energy crisis as well as the global warming issues.
As of now, its 300 kilograms of hydrogen that the Fukuoka plant is producing daily, which Toyota said is enough to fuel 65 Mirai vehicles. The figure could go up to 600 cars everyday if all the biogas produced in the plant is converted to hydrogen.