Twenty new Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell cars are set to join public and private sector fleets in the UK, after winning support in the UK Government’s latest funding announcements to boost the number of ultra-low emission vehicles on Britain’s roads.
Twelve new Mirai customers, including the Science Museum, Aberdeen City Council and Arval are among the fleet operators that have been successful in a competition to share £2 million to invest in new hydrogen fuel cell cars and vans. The new vehicles should be in service by April next year.
Mirai, a mid-size four-door saloon, is powered by electricity generated on-board by a Toyota-developed hydrogen fuel cell and produces no harmful emissions when driven – in fact the only by-product is water.
The fleet funding support for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles is part of the UK Government’s commitment to a £600 million investment in ultra-low emission vehicles by 2020.
Paul Van der Burgh Toyota (GB) President and Managing Director, commented on the news:
“We are proud to be at the forefront of bringing the benefits of ultra-low emission transport to the UK and welcome the Government’s announcement of funding that will enable more of our customers to introduce Mirai to their fleets. Toyota is committed to producing vehicles that provide sustainable mobility, developing breakthrough technologies that have successfully brought hybrid and now fuel cell vehicles to the marketplace.”
In addition to this news Toyota have also been investing in more specialist centres to support the roll-out of hydrogen-fuelled vehicles in the UK with the provision of specialist service centres for Mirai at additional locations across the country.
From next week, centres in London, Swindon, Sheffield, Swansea and Aberdeen will help extend the reach of the technology, in line with the national H2 infrastructure network plan.
This week ITM Power opened a new public hydrogen refuelling station at the Centre of Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence in Rainham, East London, a site that also hosts a Toyota Technical Training Centre, providing specialist training in hydrogen fuel cell technology.
The station is the second in the UK to make hydrogen on-site from solar energy, captured using an array of photovoltaic panels, and follows ITM Power’s opening of a wind-powered station in Rotherham. It is the sixth facility to be delivered by the European HyFive project, funded by the European Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking and the Office of Low emission Vehicles.
Seven Toyota Mirai were among 11 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles that took part in a zero emissions rally to mark the opening of the refuelling station this week, producing nothing but water in their journey to the new facility, located close to the A13 arterial route and the new Thames Gateway development. They followed two rally routes – one a 186-mile journey from a wind hydrogen station in Rotherham, the other a cross-London trip from ITM’s refuelling station in Teddington, passing through the capital’s Low Emission Zone. Both routes were well within Mirai’s driving range of around 300 miles on a full tank of fuel.