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New Toyota Mirai billboards in California help clear the air

Why it matters to you

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles like the Mirai are one possible step toward the future of mass-produced zero-emission vehicles, and this billboard campaign helps promote the concept.

Toyota took zero-emission motoring to the next level with its Mirai fuel cell electric vehicle, which is currently available only in California. The Mirai, which needs hydrogen fuel to power its electric motor, emits nothing but water vapor. The FCV will be featured on a new billboard (nothing new about cars on billboards) but this one, fittingly, helps to clean the air.

The Toyota Mirai eco-billboard campaign, working in conjunction with Clear Channel Outdoor Americas, will launch 37 billboards in Los Angeles and San Francisco. From April 3 to May 28, these structures will create 24,960 square feet of pollution-scrubbing surface, and reverse the nitrogen dioxide (NOx) emissions of an equivalent 5,285 vehicles per month, according to a Toyota press release. NOx is a contributor to acid rain and smog.

The billboards operate something like a catalytic converter with titanium dioxide-coated vinyl to clean the air. Oxygen reacts with the energized titanium dioxide catalyst, and NOx is converted to nitrate and removed from the air. The billboards are light-activated and will continue to purify the air as long as light, humidity, airflow, and the titanium dioxide coating are present.

“Toyota consistently searches for new environmental technologies across all operations,” Mark Angelacos, advanced technology general manager, Toyota Motor North America, said. “When Clear Channel Outdoor Americas brought us the opportunity, we saw it as a perfect match. This new campaign delivers Toyota Mirai’s ‘vehicle of change’ message on a medium that lives up to that promise.”

The titanium dioxide coating technology used on the eco-billboards was developed by the PURETi Group, and Clear Channel Outdoor Americas has exclusive usage rights in the outdoor advertising category.

“We are pleased to offer our environmentally conscious clients, like Toyota, an even more eco-friendly printed vinyl option for their Out-of-Home (OOH) media campaigns,” Gene Leehan, executive vice president and senior regional president, Clear Channel Outdoor Americas, said. “This campaign marks a U.S. first for the use of this technology on OOH, and we look forward to making it available to other like-minded advertisers.”

The eco-billboard campaign was highlighted during the first Environmental Media Association Impact Summit in Beverly Hills, California. A Mirai was wrapped with the titanium dioxide coated vinyl, and it purified the air as guests entered the event.