Toyota’s new hydrogen fuel cell car, the Mirai, has successfully completed its 100,000km European road test. This test started on 21 September 2015 and finished on 10 February 2016. Every day for 107 days, the Mirai was on the road for 16 hours. During its journey, the car was refuelled nearly 400 times with just over 1,000kg of hydrogen, its tires changed twice, and its front brake pads replaced. No mechanical breakdowns were reported.
Responsibility for the road test was given to KJ Tech Services of Hamburg. Toyota specified the total distance the Mirai should cover, as well as the amount of time spent on different types of road: in the city, on rural roads, on motorways, and on German autobahns with no speed limit. To meet these specifications, KJ Tech Services carefully calculated a single route in and around Hamburg, and organized a team of eight drivers working in two shifts per day, six days a week.
“The Mirai performed excellently with no mechanical breakdowns,” said KJ Tech Services project manager Patrick Hake. “The fuel cell operated with 100% reliability. This was also the case during a week in which the outside temperature dropped to minus 20C, when no problems with cold starts were reported.”
The drivers themselves were responsible for filling the Mirai’s tanks with hydrogen. They had all received a short explanation of how to do this, but as there is little difference between filling up a hydrogen car and a conventional diesel or gasoline car, training was minimal. The drivers found refuelling a very easy and safe process. They recognized a major advantage of the Mirai over other electric vehicles. Instead of having to recharge overnight – and therefore be out of action – the Mirai could be refuelled in just three minutes and was immediately ready to drive.