Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) will be holding its first-ever Toyota Hybrid Electric Vehicle Drive Expo, which will happen on November 22, 2019, at the Greenbelt 5 Fashion Walk. The expo is meant to give the public increased awareness about Toyota’s hybrid electric vehicle technologies as well as its innovations in harnessing other alternate energy sources such as hydrogen. Yes, you read that right. TMP will be showcasing the Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV), its first-ever appearance in the Philippines.
The Toyota Mirai is Toyota’s answer to the future of mobility. Whereas car companies like Tesla, Volkswagen, just to name a few are pushing the technology of batteries, Toyota thinks hydrogen is the fuel of the future since it is a renewable resource and refueling is just as fast as refueling an internal combustion-engined vehicle. Currently, however, the biggest challenge of extracting the most abundant element in the universe is how to extract it both sustainably and cost-effectively for it to become a mainstream power source.
Right now, the Toyota Mirai is on its way to receiving a second-generation model, of which its concept form made its debut at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show. However, since TMP says in their media invite that they will be showcasing a cross-section of the Mirai, it is highly likely that the first-generation model, which is still in production, will be displayed.
On the outside, the Toyota Mirai embraces its futuristic look. Just like the Prius, the Mirai has a fastback profile that’s optimized for aerodynamics. Slim LED headlights project a futuristic look while the large vents on the front bumpers are there to suck in air and generate electricity, thus emitting H2O at its tailpipe. Toyota says that its fastback profile resembles a water droplet, while the rear has a bold look through its LED taillights and inverted triangle motif for the brake lights, turn signals, and the lower rear foglight located at the rear diffuser.
Just like the exterior, the interior has a futuristic design. There are various screens in the interior for displaying the Mirai’s various functions and features. Toyota’s designer has used plenty of soft-touch materials to give the Mirai a premium feel, while all of its four seats have been sculpted for both aesthetics and comfort. Yes, just four because Toyota placed the fuel cell stack, batteries, and hydrogen tank in the middle of the vehicle for optimized handling and ride comfort.
The Toyota Mirai’s hydrogen fuel cell stack is converted into electricity, charging the car’s battery pack. Basically, the hydrogen’s purpose is to generate electricity to charge the vehicle and be able to power it. The by-product of that energy generation process is hydrogen in gas form (H2) and when it binds with an oxygen atom, it becomes good-ole’ H2O or water. Toyota claims the car’s H2O emissions are so clean, you could drink straight from the exhaust pipe, though of course, we wouldn’t recommend you doing that.
Another advantage of FCEVs is its range. At 502 kilometers in a single tank of hydrogen, the Mirai operates and drives just as far as any vehicle with an internal combustion engine could. Speaking of the tank, since its hydrogen needs to kept at a compressed gaseous state with pressures of up to 10,000 psi (70 MPa), its fuel tank is extremely strong and is made up of three layers of carbon fiber reinforced plastic and other materials. It has also been designed by Toyota to stay intact and without deformation even after a horrendous crash.
Meanwhile, the electric motor powering the Mirai produces 152 hp and 335 Nm of torque, enough to propel the vehicle from 0 to 100 kph in 9.5 seconds. Power is sent through the front wheels via a single-speed automatic gearbox.
Mark your calendars as this will be a chance of a lifetime for you to see the Toyota Mirai in person if you haven’t yet. Apart from the Mirai, Toyota’s hybrids including the Corolla Altis Hybrid, Prius, and Prius C will also be at the Toyota Hybrid Electric Vehicle Drive Expo. Be sure not to miss Toyota’s booth as this is your best way to see Toyota’s innovations in hybrids and fuel cell vehicles.