Toyota has released their Mirai to a select hand full of customers in Europe. The launch was hosted in Hamburg, a city with four fuel-cell fill up stations and dedication to environmentally friendly practices. After spending 20 years developing this technology, Toyota believes the Mirai will be a greater ecological step forward than the original Prius, which first debuted in 1997 (pictured left).
Chief Engineer Yoshikazu (pictured right) answered a few questions about the technology for the press. When asked why Toyota is introducing this new technology now, Yoshikazu responded, “Hydrogen is a hopeful energy source, abundant in the atmosphere and available to exploit now. We aim to make hydrogen cars part of the normal street scene; encourage infrastructure creation and to gather detailed customer feedback with Mirai.” Interestingly, he also revealed that Toyota released over 6000 patents in order to increase adoption of this new technology.
Lee Groom, Toyota Expert, test drove the Mirai and had this to say about the new fuel cell sedan, “As soon as you approached and sat inside, it felt high quality – as I said previously, possibly even more like a Lexus than a Toyota. For a pre-production car, it was incredible. I have concerns about the infrastructure at the moment, but Toyota are being sensible with their roll out of the car for this reason.”
While many seem skeptical about how quickly this new trend will catch on. Toyota seems positive that this trend will pick up and allow motorists to enjoy luxurious, high quality cars that are also less harmful on the environment. It will be interesting to see how the average consumer responds to this new trend.