Toyota’s Mirai Brings Hydrogen Technology Back Into Focus

The fuel of the future finally has a future.

The fuel of the future finally has a future.

For more than 30 years, a joke has circulated in automotive circles that hydrogen fuel cells are the future of the car… and always will be. Nearly every automaker has flirted with the technology at some point since the 1980s, either in their concept cars, demonstrator fleets or semi-secretive tests without ever coming close to actually offering a hydrogen-powered car to consumers.
That all changed this week, when the 800 pound gorilla of the auto industry, Toyota, released the first fuel cell vehicle (FCV) available for sale to consumers. Though this pioneering vehicle faces undeniable challenges, mainly a nascent hydrogen refueling infrastructure that is initially limiting Toyota’s FCV effort to targeted markets, there can be no doubt but that the Japanese automaker is fully committed to aggressively pursuing fuel cell technology. The proof is in the very name of the new car: Mirai, Japanese for The Future.

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