The Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle finally had its debut in the East Coast at the DC Auto Show. Toyota will commence sales of the Mirai in the United States later this year, bannering the vehicle’s ability to travel 300 miles on a single tank that takes only around 5 minutes to fill while emitting just water vapor.
During the event, Nihar Patel, Toyota's Vice President of North American Business Strategy, called for a concerted effort and collaboration between carmakers, government regulators, academia and energy providers as the need for sufficient hydrogen infrastructure becomes more of a reality.
He called on the Congress to reinstate the tax incentives for hydrogen firms that build refueling stations and for consumers buying fuel cell vehicles.
He noted that following the expiration of the federal fuel cell credit in 2014, buyers of zero emission fuel cell EVs get no tax credit, unlike purchasers of zero emission plug-in electric vehicles. He remarked that consumers and the investment community need “a clear signal” that the government is not “choosing winners or losers in the zero emission vehicle race.”
He added that FCEVs and plug-ins should get equal treatment to allow the market to decide. Patel cited Toyota’s recent decision to make almost 5,700 global patents open to rival carmakers to encourage them to follow the carmaker’s lead in championing hydrogen fuel cell technology.
He said Toyota is hopeful that the decision would result to refined and improved components and systems that means better performance, lesser cost and more attractive to a wider audience.
Patel disclosed that Toyota is collaborating with Air Liquide to develop and supply a phased network of 12 hydrogen stations in the states of New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. [source: Toyota]