Skip to main content

Toyota’s 2016 Mirai FCV quietly ushers in the era of production hydrogen-powered cars

The hydrogen fuel cell race is really heating up.

Within the past few days, Honda has unveiled its FCV Concept in Japan, BMW is reportedly planning a hydrogen-powered i5, and now, Toyota has officially announced its hydrogen fuel cell vehicle for the 2016 model year.

Dubbed the Mirai, which means “future” in Japanese, the mid-size sedan will go on sale in the U.S. next year and feature a range of approximately 300 miles.

The name Mirai is especially apt when you consider the hydrogen powertrain takes just five minutes to fill, emits no exhaust besides water vapor, and can even siphon energy into an owner’s home with the Optional Power Take-Off device.

As far as driving experience goes, the Mirai shouldn’t differ drastically from a normal electric vehicle. The sedan is a tad on the portly side at 4078 pounds, but its maximum output of 153 horsepower allows it to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in around 9 seconds.

Furthermore, because the hydrogen components are mounted close to the ground, the FCV has a low center of gravity, which lends itself to spry handling.

As with most forms of alternative energy, creating a sustainable infrastructure to support the car will be one of the biggest challenges. To overcome that hurdle, Toyota has announced a joint venture with industrial gas supplier Air Liquide to build 12 hydrogen fueling stations in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. There are currently 10 stations in California, but the state has committed to 20 by 2015 and 40 by 2016.

I am currently in Newport Beach, California testing the Mirai alongside over a hundred journalists and Toyota executives. A full driving impression report will be posted soon, so stay tuned.

Watch the official unveiling video below.

Editors' Recommendations

Andrew Hard
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Andrew first started writing in middle school and hasn't put the pen down since. Whether it's technology, music, sports, or…
Mercedes-Benz G580 vs Rivian R2: Is the much cheaper Rivian actually better?
2025 Mercedes-Benz G580 from three quarter view.

Mercedes-Benz has finally taken the wraps off of the new "Mercedes-Benz G580 with EQ Technology." Yeah, it's a mouthful, but it's basically a new electric G-Wagon. It looks a lot like the G-Wagon you know and love, but with an electric powertrain and a battery. It's not the only electric SUV out there, however, and there are some great ones -- like the Rivian R2.

Both the Mercedes G580 and the Rivian R2 have a lot going for them, but they also approach the electric SUV slightly differently. Is one better than the other? I put the two head-to-head to find out.
The approach that the two vehicles take to design is quite different -- and you might like one better than the other.

Read more
Mercedes-Benz G580 vs GMC Hummer EV: rugged EVs face off
2025 Mercedes-Benz G580 from three quarter view.

There's finally an electric G-Wagon. Mercedes-Benz unveiled the new vehicle, officially called the Mercedes-Benz G580 with EQ Technology, after months of rumors and camouflaged sightings. But it's not the only rugged electric vehicle out there. In fact, there are quite a few EVs that could be considered rugged -- like the Rivian R1S, the Rivian R2, and, of course, the Hummer EV.

But how do the Mercedes-Benz G580 and GMC Hummer EV compare? Is one a better rugged electric vehicle than the other? Here's a look at the two vehicles, head to head.
If you love the look of recent-generation G-Wagons, you'll love the look of the new G580. To be sure, it isn't exactly the same as other recent models, but it's certainly close, with a squared-off design and sharp corners. It keeps the metallic ladder frame panels and the flat roofline, and it's available in a variety of colors.

Read more
The Kia EV3 could be the cheap electric SUV we’ve been waiting for
White Kia EV3

The Kia EV9 was already one of the cheapest ways to get an electric SUV, but now the company is taking things to the next level. After teasing the Kia EV3 last year, the car is now official.

The EV3 is built to be a slightly smaller, cheaper version of the EV9 -- following the path of the Rivian R2, which arrived after the Rivian R1S. It's certainly not as technologically advanced as the EV9, but it still looks unmistakably like a modern Kia, and is clearly a sibling of the larger SUV. On the outside, the vehicle has the same split taillights and very similar Tiger Face front. But it is quite a bit smaller. The vehicle will be available in nine finishes -- however only "Aventurine Green" and "Terracotta" are being announced right now.

Read more