As fossil fuel consumption is becoming more and more the issue, solutions arise everywhere for facing this great challenge of the modern world. And, while most of the world is focusing on batteries and electricity, there’s another approach that just might work: hydrogen fuel is the future, Japan says.
With the up-and-coming launch of the new Toyota Mirai, the Japanese car manufacturer is proving true to its promise, adopted along with Nissan and Honda at the request of Japan’s government, to promote sustainable energy sources and introduce a “hydrogen society.”
The Mirai is to have a 500 kilometer EDR (estimated driving range) on a single refuel, says the CEO of Toyota North America, Jim Lentz. He was keen to point out Toyota’s appreciation for electric cars, which began with the Prius almost two decades ago, with its legacy being continued by the new Mirai.
The car will be a saloon with four doors with performance results very close to the traditional internal combustion engines. The principle behind hydrogen fueling implies electricity being created whenever it is needed by the car, from the hydrogen in the fuel cells. And it’s no more emissions, since the only resulting byproduct would be water vapor.
Japan is focusing on the creation of the hydrogen society and this can be easily observed, as the country has the world’s most rapidly expanding hydrogen industry and infrastructures.
Recently, the three major Japanese car companies named above have pledged up to $90,000 per unit to open hydrogen refueling stations, so as to up the insufficient number of the already existing ones – just 23. This will mean the opening of several hundred new fuel stations, most already in the early stages of development.
The push for the introduction of hydrogen based electricity in the Japanese society and for the acceptance of such sustainable, eco-friendly means is a big step. The final stage, which Japan wishes to reach by the time of the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, will mean the setting up of an Olympic Village, entirely powered through hydrogen fuel. This would be their way of showcasing progressiveness, as well as the importance of thinking ahead.
Yet not only Japan has shown interest in this type of technological advancement. The Korean car company Hyundai is also entering the sustainable fuel business. As does BMW, which is currently experimenting with hydrogen in a new prototype for the 5 Series GT.
Image source: caranddriver.com