- Growing investments in hydrogen infrastructure and increased environmental awareness pave the way for the eco-friendly zero emissions car
- Sweden and Norway are launching the Toyota fuel cell Mirai in summer 2016, after initial European entry in UK, Germany, Denmark (2015) and Belgium (early 2016) – the Netherlands to follow later in 2016
More refuelling stations
In Norway the launch comes at a time when on top of the 5 existing hydrogen stations in the east of the country, two local hydrogen providers (HyOP and Uno-x) have committed to add more than 20 hydrogen stations across the country by 2020. The hydrogen stations are also expected to be a priority in the 2018-2029 National Transport Plan that comes with additional funding. Toyota customers can enjoy the same benefits of electric vehicles, i.e. VAT and tax exemptions on purchase, access to bus lanes and free toll.
Toyota Norway PR Manager Espen Olsen: “This is an important milestone for Toyota Norway. We believe this is the start of something big, and we believe that this technology will play a key role in cutting emissions from Norwegian road transport, thus helping the country to achieve its climate targets”. Ahead of the launch the Toyota Mirai has been extensively tested on Norwegian roads and the car has passed all tests with flying colours. The Toyota Mirai has proven to successfully cope with the typical winter cold in Norway. “The cabin warms up very fast thanks to the heat produced as a by-product by the fuel cells, with no impact on the range of the car”, adds Mr Olsen.
100% Green hydrogen
Similar to neighbouring Norway, Sweden already has a number of hydrogen stations in cities such as Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö, with more in the pipeline to open later this year (Mariestad and an additional station in the capital Stockholm). In Sweden hydrogen can easily be sourced as it is locally produced 100% based on renewable energy, just like in Denmark. Toyota Sweden PR ManagerBengt Dalström: “We see the introduction of the Toyota Mirai as a way to accelerate the development of hydrogen infrastructure in Sweden.”
Mirai playing key role
The number of Toyota Mirai cars sold in both countries will initially be relatively small to eventually increase significantly in the years leading up to 2020. Toyota estimates selling around 30,000 units a year globally in 2020 from 3,000 units by 2017. Since the car does not emit anything else but water vapour whilst driving, the Toyota Mirai is expected to contribute to reach the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050 which, amongst others, aims at reducing CO2 emissions by 90% in 2050 compared to 2010 levels.
Mirai is the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell sedan, benefiting from Toyota research and development of the fuel cell technology spanning for over two decades, and world-leading experience in hybrid vehicle power systems. Using hydrogen to generate electricity within a fuel cell stack, Mirai produces no tailpipe emissions other than water. In addition, a full-tank driving range of around 500 kilometres bears comparison with a petrol-powered car and the refuelling process only takes about three minutes to complete.