The Toyota Mirai is the first large-scale hydrogen-powered hybrid vehicle. The Mirai Hybrid marks the beginning of a new era, bringing a car with zero emission of polluting gases into the atmosphere like CO2, releasing only water or water vapor. The vehicle uses hydrogen as fuel to generate power to the engine. Toyota’s newest hybrid vehicle features state-of-the-art design, performance of a gasoline-powered car, state-of-the-art embedded technology, high level of safety and can even serve as a generator of power outages.
The Mirai has an electric motor, a battery, two high pressure hydrogen tanks with a maximum capacity of 70 Mpa, a voltage boost converter, a control center and the hydrogen fuel cell – a station located in the center of the floor of the vehicle. It is inside this station where the chemical reaction occurs to put the Mirai in motion. The vehicle picks up oxygen from the atmosphere through its front air intake and takes it to this station, where the hydrogen contained in both tanks is also directed. Inside it, the fuel cell divides the hydrogen into two molecules, generating an electric charge. At the same time, oxygen binds to hydrogen cells, forming water. The electric power is directed to the converter, which feeds the Mirai’s engine, and the water is expelled from the exhaust valve. The engine is also powered directly by the battery, recharged by kinetic energy generated by the deceleration and braking of the car. The Mirai has two hydrogen tanks with autonomy to run 650 km without needing to refuel.
Toyota’s high fuel cell acceleration, coupled with battery power control, power the electric motor and ensure powerful responsiveness at all speeds. This provides an immediate increase of torque in the first step on the accelerator. The stability and comfort of driving are highlighted by the positioning of the fuel cell and the high pressure hydrogen tanks under the floor, reaching a low center of gravity, with superior weight distribution in the rear and front of the vehicle. The use of a high rigidity body reinforces the structures around the rear suspension. Body aerodynamics help reduce wind resistance, contributing to improved fuel efficiency and driving stability. A more comfortable steering mode is achieved by the electric drive of the engine at all speeds and reduction of wind noise, as well as complete sealing of all parts of the body with the use of sound absorption materials and optimized sound blocking, arranged around the cabin, reducing noises in the windshield and all the windows of the doors.
A new technique was employed in the front design to emphasize the grids left and right that force the air in to obtain oxygen and to cool the fuel cell system. The elegant profile of the side evokes the fluid form of a drop of water to express the characteristic of the vehicle to suck air and return water. The side rails of the roof and bonnet seem to leap from the body of the vehicle to create the impression of a lowered car and at the same time communicate a futuristic feel. The rear of the vehicle has a bold profile. The trapezoid shape extends from the plate trim to the bottom of the bumper corners and toward the wheels. The headlights transmit sophisticated luxury and high technology with its brand new design, with an ultra-thin profile consisting of four in-line LED lamps, visible heatsinks and other optical equipment. The direction indicators and the front position lamps are separated from the headlights, contributing to their ultra-thin profile and appear to merge with the side grilles. This creates a slim and advanced design with aerodynamics that improves airflow. The Mirai comes with 17-inch aluminum wheels and is available in six colors. Inside, the Mirai creates a sophisticated cabin space, with soft upholstery on the door trim and other interior surfaces, with a high-gloss silver finish throughout. The front seats offer superior accommodation and body support, due to an integrated production process of the padding and for the roof safety it provides the best selling kia stinger sedan. Benches with eight electric adjustments provide a good driving position, and a motorized lumbar support function is standard on both the driver and passenger seats. The central group of meters located in the upper center of the instrument panel includes a speedometer and a multi-information display, represented by a high-definition 4.2-inch liquid crystal display. The driver can change the functions of the display using the controls installed on the steering wheel. The seat heating controls and other controls are operated through an electrostatic air-conditioning control panel, with a soft touch on the flat display screen. The functions that provide a comfortable interior space are standard items such as the steering wheel and seat heating (two temperature settings on all seats) with instant heating, at the same time greatly reducing energy consumption, dual air conditioning zone, ecological-driven, and Nanoe air purification technology. Three colors are available for the interior.
Mirai has a connectivity package, the T-Connect Data Communication Module (DCM), to monitor supply levels and the network of hydrogen outlets:A specific application uses the navigation system display to display information and current operational status of the three nearest hydrogen supply stations, based on the location of the vehicle. The Pocket Mirai, a smartphone-only application, shows information and current operating state of hydrogen supply stations throughout the country, the remaining volume of hydrogen in the vehicle, the distance that can be covered, and the estimated delivery time of external power. It also includes a hydrogen replenishment function. The remote monitoring service of the fuel cell system shows a warning on the navigation system screen if any abnormality is detected in the system, and also includes a remote diagnostic support system of the vehicle from a terminal at the dealership. The technology is also present in the high level of safety of the vehicle, in order to not allow the leakage of hydrogen and, in the unlikely possibility of this occurrence, the system detects and contains the hydrogen flow, avoiding its accumulation inside the vehicle. Development of high pressure hydrogen tanks with excellent performance in the prevention of hydrogen permeation, strength and durability. Hydrogen sensors provide alerts and can shut off the main valves in the tank. Hydrogen tanks and other hydrogen-associated devices are located on the outside of the cab to ensure that hydrogen dissipates quickly in the event of a leak. Toyota’s fuel cell structure is built with newly developed carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic, characterized by lightness, strength and ease of mass production. It protects the fuel cell by absorbing impacts and shocks caused by holes, bumps and other interferences in the runway.
In addition, Mirai has other safety equipment:
Pre-collision system (with millimeter-wave radar) helps prevent collisions or reduce their consequences through alerts and braking control if a high collision probability is detected. A Beam Range Offset Alert uses a camera to detect the white or yellow range markings and alerts the driver when the vehicle is about to deviate from the bearing range. Drive-start Control limits abrupt starts or accelerations during gear changes. A Blind Spot Monitor uses a radar to detect vehicles in the adjacent bearing ranges and assists in confirming feedback during track changes.
Mirai utilizes the Toyota Fuel Cell System (TFCS), which incorporates the Toyota FC Stack fuel cell, voltage boost generator and high pressure hydrogen tanks. TFCS has better energy efficiency compared to internal combustion engines, and does not emit CO2 or other potentially hazardous substances when in use.
Fuel Cell “Toyota FC Stack”
The Toyota FC Stack delivers a maximum power of 114 kW. The efficiency of electricity generation has been improved by the use of a thin 3D mesh of flow channels, this ensures a uniform generation of electricity on the cell surface, allowing compact size and high performance level, as well as delivering energy density of 3.1 kW / L (2.2 times higher than Toyota’s previous FCHV-adv model), the world’s highest.
Voltage Lift Converter
High levels of efficiency and capacity were developed to result in a voltage generated in the 650-cell fuel cell. This voltage makes it possible to reduce the size of the electric motor and the amount of fuel cells, providing smaller size and greater efficiency for the Toyota Fuel Cell System (TFCS), thereby reducing the cost of the system.
High Pressure Hydrogen Tanks
Tanks with three-layer structure made of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic and other materials are used to store hydrogen under the high pressure of 70 MPa (70 megapascal, or approximately 700 bar). Compared to the high pressure hydrogen tanks used in Toyota’s FCHV-adv model, the storage volume was increased by about 20 percent, while both weight and size were reduced to reach a weight percentage of 5.7 wt % 7, world leader.
External power supply system
The Mirai can serve as an energy generator (approximately 60 kWh) in cases of drops or power cuts. When a power supply (sold separately) is connected – a connection made inside the trunk – the Mirai can power a complete system like a residence, for example. Electronics can also be connected directly and used having the Mirai as the power source.
Hydrogen can be generated through a wide range of natural resources and by-products from human activities, such as sewage and industrial waste. It can also be obtained from the water with the use of natural sources of renewable energy, such as solar and wind. When compressed, hydrogen has a higher energy density than batteries, being relatively easy to store and transport, and therefore a potential source of power generation. Fuel cell technology can help make a hydrogen-based society a reality, thereby helping to accelerate the diversification of clean energy sources.
2016 – TOYOTA RAV4 HYBRID SAPPHIRE
The star of Toyota’s stand during the Geneva Motor Show was the Toyota C-HR, an SUV that arrives to fight with popular models such as Nissan Juke, among others. The protagonism of his younger brother eclipsed the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Sapphire, a show car that the Japanese brand led to Geneva with the intention of anticipating new options within the RAV4 line. The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Sapphire comes in a unique blue body color, although its most outstanding elements are the lower parts of the bumper, the side skirts and the arches of the wheels painted in the color of the body and accompanied by a series of elegant details chrome plated. The 20-inch alloy wheels are specific to this version and are accompanied by roof bars and a grid with chrome differential elements. The interior of the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Sapphire also features a leather upholstery with contrasting blue and diamond-patterned seams in the central part of the seats. The panel features ‘Piano Black’ frames and striking ‘Electric Blue’ ventilation vents, typical of Toyota hybrids. With the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Sapphire the Japanese brand seeks to evaluate the public’s impressions to incorporate its differentiating elements into the SUV line. Coming soon Toyota will offer versions of the Toyota RAV4 with all exterior painted in body color. The style of the interior elements shown in this edition may eventually reach the RAV4 line if they arouse public interest.