Toyota’s Fuel Cell Sedan, the Mirai, will come to Europe in September although numbers will be limited to around 100 for the first two years with the UK taking 20-30.
Partners in the UK will be selected carefully – most will be found in the London area- with the plan to have users who can play a vital role as a catalyst for change, according Toyota GB president and managing director, Matt Harrison.
The Mirai made its European debut at the Geneva motor show in March and has fuelling time of under three minutes with a 300-mile range; the only issue is a lack of proper fuelling infrastructure.
Around 15 hydrogen fuelling stations will hit the UK by the end of 2016 as part of an £11 million investment jointly funded the UK Government and industry – rising to 65-70 by 2020.
“The priority is to have national coverage but we are not seeing the oil companies on the front foot to introduce it,” said Harrison.
General Manager of Toyota and Lexus fleet, Neil Broad, added, “We see it as being the only option in the future – that will be the sea-change when it becomes a commercial reality. But there is still a long way to go.”
Toyota’s Fuel Cell Sedan is a development on the FCV Concept which was first unveiled back in 2013 at the Tokyo Motor Show.
Whilst Toyota has kept similar styling to the concept model, several detail changes have been made, including adjustments to the radiator grille, headlights, rear light and aerial, plus the roof and fuel filler cap.
In order to save room and lower the vehicle’s centre of gravity, the fuel cell, battery and fuel tanks have been fitted under the floor.
Meanwhile, compartment located in the front of the car contains the electric motor, electronic control system and boost converter.
To help encourage the development of hydrogen-fuelled vehicles, Toyota recently made thousands of its global hydrogen fuel cell patents available to others, free of any royalties.