The world is slowly, but inevitably, moving away from petrol and diesel as the motive power source for cars and trucks. Some vehicle manufacturers are adopting hybrid drivetrains as a stopgap, but even longtime fossil fuel burners like Volkswagen are investing in clean tech like battery energy storage. As well as being a leader in hybrid tech, Toyota is throwing its considerable weight behind hydrogen fuel cells — and the first three cars using the tech have just been delivered to Australian shores.
Three Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, which are already sold in the UK, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, and Norway, have been delivered to Australia as promotional vehicles, and for Toyota's engineers to learn more about the cars themselves and the compressed hydrogen tech that powers them.
There is currently no hydrogen refuelling infrastructure in Australia, which limits the locations that the cars can travel to under their own power, but a portable refuelling station is being brought into the country by Toyota in the coming months. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles require dedicated filling stations for their high-pressure tanks. "We are extremely interested in fuel cell technology, but we need the relevant infrastructure in place before we can sell these vehicles in Australia," Toyota Australia's president Dave Buttner said in a statement. "This will take time to develop so it is imperative that we take a whole of industry approach so that we can move these plans along as quickly as possible. Fuel cell technology is expected to play a key role in the future and we do not want Australians to miss out on this."
Emitting only water from its tailpipe, the Mirai has a rated range of over 500km using the US's EPA testing, meaning that it's currently the most efficient hydrogen vehicle currently available worldwide — albeit with barely any competition. The cars will be shown at events around the country, including car industry conferences.