Range. This is often the main topic of discussion when it comes to electric cars. The range of some electric cars will be just on the route Prague – Brno and back, often not even that. However, cars that generate electricity from fuel cells can quite possibly solve this Achilles’ heel of electric cars. The proof is the new Toyota Mirai.
When “burning” hydrogen, the car did not emit a gram of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases – only water vapor. According to calculations, a classic car with an internal combustion engine would emit some 300 kg of carbon dioxide into the air. Toyota Mirai consumed a total of 5.65 kg of compressed hydrogen. The conditions were relatively unfavorable for the car – it was mostly rush hour traffic. In terms of temperature, it was better, it was between 18 and 28 degrees Celsius at the time of the ride.
Seal the tank, and let’s go!
In order for the ride to be legitimate, the tank was sealed immediately after refueling at the very beginning of the test. A guy named Wayne Gerdes, who is a professional car driver, was behind the wheel of the Toyota Mirai, accompanied by Bob Winger. The two-day experiment then began on August 23 this year at the Toyota Technical Center, the so-called TTC, located in California. It is no coincidence that this is where the US fuel cell research center is located.
The car drove first south to San Ysidra, then north to Santa Barbara via Santa Monica and Malibu along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway. That evening, Wayne Gerdes returned to the TTC with 761 kilometers. The second part of the route then led mainly along local roads.
To (urban) hell and back
In the second stage, the car made its way through mostly congested roads in the morning and afternoon rush hours, even on the highway from San Diego to Los Angeles. At this stage, the Toyota Mirai drove 599 km. At the end of the day, the driver then “turned” around and reached the rest of the hydrogen in the tank at the TTC headquarters.
His arrival was witnessed by Mr. Michael Empric, who subsequently verified with the driver that the tank was still sealed. They then opened it and checked it together.
“As a judge of Giunness World Records, I have had the opportunity for 10 years to watch attempts to break records of various kinds, including a number of distance records. The two-day Toyota Mirai test without refueling shows the power and possibilities of electronic fuel cell technology. It was this technology, together with the well-thought-out design of the Toyota Mirai, that enabled this historic record to be achieved, ”said Michael Empric.