More than any other car maker, Toyota has been a strong advocate for fuel cell powered cars. What is an FCEV? It’s an electric car that does not use a battery as its main source of power. Instead it has a fuel cell that converts liquid hydrogen into electricity, which is then used to turn an electric motor. The Mirai has a tiny 1 kWh battery to help out when demand for electricity is greater than the fuel cell can provide. The beauty of the whole hydrogen scenario is that emissions consist of nothing more than water vapor and heat. You can’t get any greener than that, can you?
Toyota has invested billions to develop its first fuel cell car, the Mirai. Toyota expects to deliver a total of 300 of the cars between the United States and Europe in 2016. Compared to the global automobile market of nearly 50 million vehicles, that is an infinitesimal amount, no more than a fly speck, really. But Toyota is convinced hydrogen power is the future. With considerable urging from the Japanese government, it has bet virtually the company’s entire future company on hydrogen power.
But Nagoya, we have a problem! According to Inside EVs, Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota North America, has instructed the dealers who handle the cars, including its highest volume dealer located in Santa Monica, California, to stop delivering cars to new customers. Why? There just aren’t enough hydrogen refueling stations available to for the 72 Mirai sedans that are already on the road . The ones that do exist don’t work very well, either. Toyota advertising for the Mirai carries the slogan “Let’s Go Places.” But right now, there are precious few places a Mirai driver can actually go.
via Steve Crandall.