Gasoline-cell autos like the 2020 Toyota Mirai use the lightest and most abundant element in the universe basically as a clear gasoline for generating electricity at the vehicle—by harnessing a response with air.

Whilst that sounds like nirvana, the Mirai isn’t cost-free of emissions and carbon influence. It usually takes vitality to deliver the hydrogen and pressurize it to a degree (70 MPa) that can be saved absent in sensibly sized tanks. Most of that arrives from organic fuel at current.

It all sounds a bit like a science experiment. There are some vehicles—the Hyundai Nexo is the most noteworthy—that buck that effect entirely, but the present-day Toyota Mirai, which has been on sale considering the fact that the 2016 model year, tends to glimpse like at the very least just one of its dad and mom was a mad scientist.

Evaluate carries on beneath

It earns a 5.four general listed here, with its clear powertrain and superior standard devices offsetting its difficult-to-stomach styling and unremarkable functionality. (Study a lot more about how we amount automobiles.)

The front-wheel-push Mirai is driven by a 153-horsepower electric motor, with vitality fed to it by means of the hydrogen gasoline-cell “stack,” buffered by means of a modest battery that also helps recover vitality when braking or decelerating, like a hybrid.

You won’t obtain particularly brief acceleration or engaging dealing with in the Mirai, but these genuinely weren’t the priorities here—clean, emissions-cost-free motoring was surely the first goal. A lot like earlier electric automobiles, the Mirai feels at its perkiest up to thirty mph or so. It’s in its element in the city, exactly where it feels uncomplicated to maneuver. Steering is relatively gentle, but Toyota’s expertise in tuning hybrid techniques pays off listed here with a sleek, predictable brake pedal.

Four adults healthy into the Mirai—and do not even consider about fitting a fifth individual as gasoline-cell components are wedged into an region down the center of the vehicle. The standard upholstery is a artificial leather-based, and although the Mirai shares some of its style and design characteristics inside of with the Prius (including its change lever), the interface is very various, with touchpad-primarily based local climate controls placed lessen from the line of sight. Each and every Mirai is equipped with seventeen-inch wheels, a 7.-inch touchscreen for infotainment, and two USB ports.

The Mirai rides like a larger, cushier sedan, general, and from a sound standpoint it is very silent you just listen to a whoosh and whir as the gasoline-cell stack ramps up its electric power generation. To make area for precise hydrogen storage, the rear seats do not fold ahead to allow a lot more trunk space for larger products.

The Mirai is produced in very smaller quantities, and so it has not been a precedence for tests by either of the U.S. basic safety agencies. But considering the fact that the Mirai is a know-how flagship for all of Toyota, you can think that the automaker took basic safety severely with its engineering. Attribute-intelligent, the Mirai includes automatic unexpected emergency braking, energetic lane handle, and blind-place monitors.

The 2020 Mirai is supplied in smaller quantities, in distinct parts of Northern and Southern California, plus Hawaii, that are deemed shut ample to hydrogen fueling stations. Which prospects to a different important point: Whilst significant-stress fills of hydrogen choose a great deal significantly less time than speedy-charging an electric vehicle, if your neighborhood hydrogen stations have downtime there genuinely is no backup prepare. That was established this earlier year when an explosion at a hydrogen generation facility in Santa Clara put a pinch on some Northern California stations for months.

An all-new Mirai is thanks later in 2020, as a 2021 model, and it will be a various kind of car—a larger rear-wheel-push sedan with a fully new structure. The 2021 Mirai promises to be sportier than the present-day auto, and it will be driven by a following-generation gasoline-cell stack able of generating a lot more electric power with improved efficiency.