Toyota Mirai Owners; There Is No Fuel And We Want Out Of These Cars
Range anxiety is not just for EV owners. And even now, it is not so much an issue, but you know what is? Hydrogen.
Toyota Mirai owners are reporting massive hydrogen outages, and Toyota has not said anything about how it will help take care of their promising technology. Here is what we know so far.
Toyota Mirai HFCV: The Future?
Mirai in Japanese loosely means the future. Ironically, this "future technology" is falling short of the mark. Mirai is a promising hydrogen fuel cell vehicle that gives petroleum-like fueling time and around 300+ miles of range.
A concept now turned reality has given the world a view of technology and even some a different kind of transportation altogether.
The issue is not the technology though, it is the infrastructure. Just ask the Mirai owners who are now suffering from almost no places to refuel.
Hydrogen Stations: Big Trouble In Little Tokyo
I love everything about the hydrogen idea. I love the range, the economy, the fact that hydrogen is the most abundant element on earth, and that the tailpipe emissions are water. Everything about the car is awesome, EXCEPT.
The infrastructure needed to fuel the cars is almost non-existent. To make matters worse, the limited stations are on the fritz stranding Mirai owners who simply want to enjoy their alternative fuel vehicles.
Most of the stations are offline due to no hydrogen being available, but that is not even the worst of it. Currently, the way hydrogen is produced is from natural gas reformation. This wildly high energy process makes it very costly to "strip" hydrogen down and store it.
The energy required makes it difficult to process and puts far more strain on the California power grid (if rolling blackouts were not already enough.)
Toyota needs to get it together if hydrogen cars are part of the future they have dreamt about. I have driven them and love the idea, but it needs to get some backing behind it fast, or it will lose all possibility of becoming mainstream,
That is all for today. When you have customers asking to get out of the car they are in, you know that there is a problem. I hope the Mirai owners out there get the help they deserve.
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Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting. Read more of Peter's stories at Toyota news coverage on Torque News. Search Toyota Prius Torque News for more in depth Prius coverage from our reporters.