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Toyota’s Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles Are Taking Off

Toyota’s Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles Are Taking Off

The Toyota Mirai is one of the first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell electric cars in the world. And now, the vehicle has reached over 3,000 sales in California, making over 80 percent of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in the country a Mirai.

So how does it work? The Mirai runs on electricity it creates using hydrogen, oxygen and a fuel cell. It emits nothing but water vapor into the atmosphere and takes only five minutes to refuel.

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Despite being a non-pollutant, the Mirai’s performance is on par with traditional internal combustion engines. The Mirai has an EPA estimated driving range rating of 502 kilometers and 28 km/L city/highway/combined.

And it’s not a tiny smart car — the Mirai is a four-door, midsize sedan, so there’s plenty of room for passengers.

“The interior is clean, smart, and well organized: there’s a steering wheel, pedals where they’re supposed to be, a sat-nav display, and a center stack-mounted shifter like a Prius,” Nicolas Stecher wrote for The Drive. “From the outside, the Mirai is essentially indistinguishable from any gas-guzzling or battery-powered vehicle on the road.”

There are currently 31 Toyota retail hydrogen stations open in the state of California alone. Twelve more stations are expected to open in the state this year. By partnering with FirstElement Fuels and Shell, Toyota is creating a network of hydrogen infrastructure in California, according to The Car Guide.

But hydrogen cars aren’t just confined to the west coast — the car manufacturer is also teaming up with Air Liquide, an industrial gases producer, to establish 12 hydrogen fueling stations reaching from New York to Boston. The first hydrogen refueling station is expected to open in Boston later in 2018.

There are currently three hydrogen fuel cell cars available in limited areas — the Hyundai ix35, the Honda Clarity and the Mirai. The hydrogen market has expanded in recent years, so is it only a matter of time before other car manufacturers join the movement as well?