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Toyota Mirai hydrogen car confirmed for Australia

Clean hydrogen-powered cars begin to hit Australian roads.

Toyota Australia will introduce a small batch of 20 Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to be sold to businesses and government departments. 

It is the second-generation of the Mirai, a car that has been sold in other markets previously in its first generation but not Australia. The reason is rather simple: there’s simply no hydrogen refueling infrastructure here, except for a fueling station at Hyundai’s headquarters in Sydney.

That will evolve, however, with Canberra opening a station imminently, and plans for stations in Sydney and Melbourne. In its infancy it might be, hydrogen fuel-cell technology has many benefits, the most compelling being that a 7kg tank of hydrogen can drive for hundreds of kilometres, compared to an electric vehicle requiring a battery weighing hundreds of kilos to travel the same distance.

The Mirai for example can travel around 600km from a full tank. The drivetrain is electric, with hydrogen converted into energy to drive the electric motor on the front. Otherwise, it’s a conventional feeling car in terms of layout and performance.

Toyota joins Hyundai in offering a hydrogen car in Australia, the South Korean brand currently offering the Nexo hydrogen vehicle. Unlike the Mirai, the Nexo is a crossover-style SUV.

For Toyota, the Mirai program which brings just a handful of cars here might be the catalyst for support from the government.

“Toyota is committed to accelerating the popularity and diversity of electrified vehicles that reduce CO2 emissions and air pollution,” said Toyota Australia Vice President Sales and Marketing Sean Hanley.

“The best way to demonstrate the long-term viability and environmental benefits of hydrogen-powered fuel-cell electric vehicles is to supply cars to local industries and governments that share our vision of a zero-emission future.

“All-new Mirai brings together Toyota’s unrivalled experience with electrified vehicles and our integrated approach to an electric future.

“EV technologies we’ve developed over more than 20 years – including batteries, motors and advanced energy-management software – are fundamental to the production of many types of electrified vehicles, including FCEVs,” he said.

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Alex Rae

Alex Rae