Toyota Mirai myths busted

The Toyota Mirai is the world’s first mass-production fuel cell saloon. That means it is fuelled with hydrogen only, there is no combustion engine, and the only tailpipe emission is water vapour.

We’ve compiled the most popular questions you’ve been asking about the car into one Mirai FAQ. If you have a question that isn’t in this post, simply use the comments form below and we’ll answer it.

Where can you fill up the Toyota Mirai?

You can find hydrogen refuelling stations in the UK that have the capacity to fill up the Mirai at:

Aberdeen Cove
Aberdeen Kitty Brewster
Beaconsfield Shell Services (M40)
Cobham Shell Services (M25)
Gatwick Airport North Terminal Shell
Heathrow Airport (Hatton Cross)
Rainham – CEME A13
Rotherham – Advanced Manufacturing Park (M1)
Swindon – Johnson Matthey
Swindon – Honda
Teddington – National Physical Laboratory

There are more stations coming online in the near future around the country.

We’ll keep you updated as and when more hydrogen refuelling stations come online.

What is the range of the Toyota Mirai?

The Toyota Mirai has a cruising range of around 340 miles. Instead of litres or gallons, the Mirai’s official fuel economy is stated in kilograms, because hydrogen is a gas, not a liquid. The amount of hydrogen in a certain volume will depend on pressure and temperature, so the best metric to use is the weight in kg. So the combined fuel consumption figure is 0.76kg per 100km.

How much does it cost to fill up?

Customers who lease the car will receive free fuel as part of their contract with Toyota.

For customers who buy a Mirai outright, it costs roughly £50 to fill up. Hydrogen is sold by the kilo and a kilo costs roughly £10. The Mirai tanks hold 5kg of fuel. Unlike charging an electric car, it takes between just three and five minutes to refuel.

Click here for a step-by-step guide to refuelling a hydrogen car like the Mirai.

Is it safe to store hydrogen in a car?

Hydrogen is as safe as any other fuel used in a car. It has been used as an energy carrier for decades, and there is a vast amount of know-how and experience within Toyota and elsewhere to handle it safely.

Over the past ten years hundreds of Toyota fuel cell vehicles have been thoroughly road tested. They have racked up millions of miles over all kinds of demanding terrain, from the freezing cold of northern Finland to the baking heat of southern Spain.

Where is the hydrogen stored in a Mirai?

The hydrogen is stored in two compact, ultra-tough tanks. Toyota has been working on their design in-house since 2000 and is more than satisfied with their strength and safety performance.

Are the hydrogen fuel tanks in a Toyota Mirai strong and safe enough?

The Mirai is as safe as any other Toyota. Its hydrogen fuel tanks are designed to withstand up to 225% of their operating pressure, which is a very high safety margin. They’ve even been shot at with high-velocity weapons.

The tanks’ main source of strength is their carbon fibre shell, over which there is a further layer of glass fibre. Should the car be involved in an accident, any damage to the hydrogen tank will be clearly visible on the glass fibre layer; tests can then be carried out to find out whether the carbon shell itself has been compromised. The whole tank is lined with plastic to seal in the hydrogen.

In the unlikely event of a leak, Mirai is fitted with highly sensitive sensors that can detect tiny amounts of hydrogen. These are placed in strategic locations for instant detection. Should a leak occur in the fuel system, the sensors will immediately shut down the safety valves and the vehicle itself.

As a third layer of safety, the cabin is strictly separated from the hydrogen compartment to prevent the ingress of any leaking hydrogen, which would instead gradually disperse into the atmosphere.

Is the process of getting hydrogen environmentally friendly?

The hydrogen that powers the Mirai can be obtained from a wide range of natural resources and man-made by-products, even sewage sludge. It can also be created from water, using natural, renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power.

The environmental impact of using hydrogen therefore depends on the carbon footprint of its production path.

Hydrogen is already used extensively in the chemical industry, which is familiar with its large-scale production, handling and distribution.

Can I drink the water that comes out of the Mirai?

The water is not intended for drinking because it can collect dirt and other impurities as it passes through the system: you wouldn’t drink a glass of water that had been standing outside exposed to the elements, after all. That said, the water that is produced by the system is pure H2O.

What does Mirai mean?

Mirai is the Japanese word for Future.

Where can I buy a Toyota Mirai?

The Toyota Mirai is sold directly by Toyota GB. You can sign up to show your interest on the Toyota website.

10 comments

  1. When can we expect refuelling stations in the North of England i.e. on A59 / M62 between Manchester and Leeds, and Scotland around Glasgow and Edinburgh? Would you expect the price to come down as take up progresses? If I was to wait until 2020 to buy / lease the car can you project how much it will cost? I will definitely become a customer as soon as it is within my price range (I currently spend about £1,500 a year on fuel and drive one of your hybrids). Also, can you get the Oil Companies involved? I’m sure eventually they will have to switch from petrol / diesel to compressed hydrogen on their forecourts (like LPG) which they can get by cracking natural gas, during this transition? Raw carbon, not CO2 can be the by product of this process for use for manufacturing the tanks!. I’m not in favour of BEVs due to the environmental destruction to places like the Atacama Desert caused by the number of Lithium batteries that would be needed to replace all petrol / diesel cars, so the sooner FCVs get going the better!

    1. Hi Chris,
      Thanks for getting in touch. At this moment in time we have no information regarding refueling stations in the North. If we gain any more information surrounding this we will be sure to get back in touch with you; in the meantime we would have to advise keeping an eye on our social channels for any announcements.

  2. I quite like the Mirai. Not only am I impressed with the technology but also I think the Mirair looks good. I believe it would’ve looked like something out of a Dan Dare comic back in the 20th Century.

    Anyway, please visit my Twitter page and check, for example, my BBC link pertaining to the largest known mountain.

    1. Thanks Jeremy. Twenty years ago, we introduced Hybrid technology with the pioneering Prius, and thanks to its flexible Hybrid architecture we were able to embark on another journey of innovation with Mirai: a revolutionary car that makes less impact on our planet.

      Discover more about the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle that’s bringing the future into the present: http://fal.cn/u3Ez

  3. The link to register interest with Toyota is currently down, can you provide more information about the Mirai leasing program please, mileage limits etc.

    1. Hi Tim,

      Thanks for getting in touch, it’s great to hear that you’re interested in the Mirai. The car runs on inexhaustible hydrogen gas which can be made entirely from renewables and it only emits water, making less impact on our planet. You can find all further details on our website: https://www.toyota.co.uk/new-cars/new-mirai/.

      Thanks.

  4. What are the implications for storing toyota mirai in a garage. Is there a concern since garage is a closed environment?

  5. What’s the weight of drivetrain components? How heavy are all tanks when empty? Does Mirai contains PSD as your hybrid cars, or is it directly driven by electric motor? What’s the lifespan of fuel cell, either by kg’s of hydrogen used, years, miles? What’s the cost of replacement for strategic components, if necessary and out of warranty?
    How safe is the valve connection for filling up fuel, and how many times it can be connected before breakdown? Such pressure surely isn’t helpful for connectors. What’s the carbon footprint of making a Mirai and how does that compare to BEV and IC cars? How fuel cells are impacting environment when EOL is reached?

    I’m really interested in that technology and hopefully will see it in near future as dominant over BEV, which are in my opinion totally useless ideas due to limitations in the infrastructure.

    I’m sure that answering these questions will help many people to meet and understand correctly that technology. Would be great if you can attach some proofs to these answers; I’ll myself take care of promoting this technology, whilst Mirai is my perfect example as for now.
    I’d be grateful as well if I could have a contact with some engineers team related to that technology, if that would be possible I’m giving you the permission to pass over my details to them.

    Having huge hopes to see helpful and honest answers.

    1. Hi Piotr,
      Thanks for your comment.
      1) We do not the complete assembled weight of the drivetrain components. However, it is possible to find out the weight of the drivetrain components on an individual parts basis. We would need the VIN number of the specific vehicle to do this.
      2) We can find out the weight of the empty tanks. However, similar to the drivetrain components, we would need the VIN number of the specific vehicle to identify the part numbers to check accordingly.
      3) The Mirai does not have a Power Split Device. As it only has one source of drive, an electric motor. It still has reduction gears in the motor/transaxle assembly.
      4) We do not have a specific lifespan for the fuel cell. It’s designed to be in the vehicle for its entire life.
      5) In terms of the cost of replacement for strategic components, we would need to know the critical parts in question so we can identify the part numbers and check the prices accordingly.
      worth mentioning the high quality and outstanding reliability of Toyota vehicles and parts and that we have a 10 year warranty program.
      6) The valve is manufactured to industry standards. It does not have a replacement schedule but it is inspected every service.
      7) We do not have the carbon footprint of production for any of our vehicles so are unable to answer this question directly.
      8) Finally, Toyota considers the environmental impact of all its vehicles both when developing and producing them and us materials featuring superior recyclability.
      We hope this provides some further insight into the Mirai, please let us know if you have any further questions.
      Thanks.

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