Toyota Motor Corporation disclosed that it will be bringing two of its Mirai fuel cell vehicles to China by October of this year. Tests will then be conducted on these FCVs in order to determine how they perform under China’s environment. The brand will also study the quality of hydrogen in China and conduct other durability and quality tests.
While this may be the first in China, the Mirai has been tested in different countries like Australia, U.K., the U.S., and even Scandinavia. The testing to be done is China is under the project titled “Accelerating the Development and Commercialization of Fuel Cell Vehicles in China” and will begin on 2017 and end by 2020.
In addition to the tests being conducted, the brand will also conduct promotional activities in order to determine how customers in this country react to the Mirai. An example of such an activity includes, but not limited to, putting the Mirai up for exhibit during domestic events. Toyota says that the main objective of these events is to make consumers know more about FCVs.
At the same time as the tests, Toyota revealed that it will be setting up a hydrogen station at Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (China) Co., Ltd. (TMEC). Located in the Jiangsu Province in China, this is the site of Toyota’s research and development.
Currently there are five hydrogen stations in the country but are mainly positioned in metropolitan areas like Guangzhou, Shanghai, and of course, Beijing. For the one that Toyota is planning to build, it will be the first such facility to be put up in Changshu. To ensure the success of this project, Toyota says it will need to partner with the Chinese government as well as other local business and private organizations with the auto industry. These collaborations will help Toyota determine the advantages of having a hydrogen-based society.
Toyota has been known for years now to take the lead when it comes to developing environment-friendly vehicles like electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, hybrid cars, and FCVs. It does so in a way that the brand is able to fully utilize the benefits offered by the different systems.
Choosing the Mirai for tests is rather a no-brainer as Toyota believes this is the ultimate eco-car. Performance is truly exceptional especially with no CO2 emissions. Even then it has the convenience that is generally experienced in gas-powered version especially when it comes to cruising range and refilling time.
Officially unveiled during the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, Toyota estimates that between December 2014 and February 2017, 3,000 units have been sold across different countries like those in Europe, the U.S., and Japan. Its largest market is currently Japan with 1,500 units sold followed by the U.S. at 1,200 units.