Toyota very proudly announced just yesterday that its pioneering hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicle – the Toyota Mirai – has been rated at 67 miles-per-gallon-equivalent (MPGe) by the EPA. That rating remains constant whether driving on the highway, or in the city.
Equally impressive is the EPA-tested Toyota Mirai’s total range, standing at 312 miles, which makes it the first zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) to breach the 300-mile mark.
While the hydrogen fuel cell has often been derided as an improbable means of fuel storage, largely due to the highly-flammable nature of Hydrogen gas, the fuel cells in the Toyota Mirai are carbon fiber-wrapped and polymer-lined to resist the forces of an impact. In the event of a collision, the car is equipped with sensors to stop the flow of hydrogen from the tanks, while all fueling-related components are placed strategically outside the cabin to allow any gas leakage to disperse into the atmosphere.
If that all sounds scarcely comforting to you, worry not; the Toyota Mirai four-door fuel cell sedan has been more than 20 years in the making. This means that the automaker has had plenty of time to get it right.
The 2016 Toyota Mirai is joining the ZEV market as the first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell car ever made, but availability will remain limited for the time being; only 700 units are expected to be produced through the end of 2015. What’s more, the Mirai is only available this year to residents of California, although a Northeast release is anticipated at a later date.
Californians can get their own Toyota Mirai sedans starting in October, for a list price of $57,500 before incentives.