Serious Uncertainties About Toyota Mirai and the Reasons for Switching To Hydrogen from the Auto Sector
I couldn’t help but ask when, where, how much are they investing per station and how many they planned to roll out after the initial 12 and what time frame are they talking about. Based on her reaction to my questions was an indication of Toyota true plans are not going to be revealed at the NY International Auto Show. She did the equivalent rolling of her eyes with utter contempt as if I had asked her something inappropriate.
The truth here is it is most likely a distraction. In 2006 the movie “Who Killed the Electric Car” came out and explored the reasons why the General Motors company killed the EV1. A segment of that movie dealt with the subject of Hydrogen and showcased a Hydrogen car. Back then the producers asked similar questions about when it would be available and the movie showed it being put back up onto a flatbed truck to be towed to the next event. I haven’t seen the movie in a long time and can’t remember which car company was showcasing the Hydrogen car from the movie but the point is clear. Since I can remember, the alternative to the internal combustion engine is always the hydrogen car and them never actually make it to market. There are good reasons for that.
Since 2006 and Toyota’s insistence that they would be making hydrogen cars illustrates that they never really plan on releasing a hydrogen car for good reason.
There are No Hydrogen Refueling Stations Really
While there are a few hydrogen refueling places, they are rare. Very rare. While you can easily go to your cell phone and download the PlugShare app and can easily locate and tons of EVSEs (electric vehicle supply equipment) Toyota is still highlighting the hydrogen car. Also see how the 2016 Toyota Mirai launch went awry due to lack of fueling stations.
Make no mistake, Honda is going down the same road with the Clarity. Although the Honda Clarity has three different versions of their alternative fuel car (a Pure EV, a PHEV and a hydrogen version). The pure electric car (EV ) goes 80 miles on a charge, the Plug-in Hybrid version gets 42 miles of EV range and the Hydrogen version will likely not see much action at all.
The issue here in my mind is why do car companies keep doing this year after year, after year. Hydrogen cars are a wait and wait and wait for the offering. There are safety issues, range issues, refueling issues, deployment issues and consumer acceptance issues with the Hydrogen cars. The electric car has made a comeback in a big way since the 2006 movie came out. The director Chris Payne made a follow-up movie calling it the Revenge of the Electric Car.