Toyota plans to send two “Mirai” fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) to China in October 2017 to conduct demonstration tests in the country. Coinciding with the start of these tests, Toyota will also establish a hydrogen station at TMEC, its Chinese research and development base.
This isn’t the first which Toyota is trying out the Mirai. Testing is underway in California as well where the state is one of the first proponents of green technologies in the US. Fuel cell vehicles are one of the proposed future of clean energy for vehicles utilising hydrogen to refuel. Refuelling times for hydrogen matches that of the current fuel cars which are what gives the advantage over electric vehicles. Toyota has sold over 3000 units around the world where there are hydrogen refueling stations.
Toyota is participating in the Accelerating the Development and Commercialization of Fuel Cell Vehicles in China, and will carry out demonstration tests on the Mirai FCV for three years between 2017 and 2020. Specifically, Toyota will conduct research into vehicle performance within the environment in China, research into the quality of China’s hydrogen, as well as a variety of quality and durability evaluations. Toyota will engage in promotional activities and attempt to gauge how receptive Chinese consumers are to the vehicle, such as by exhibiting the Mirai at domestic events in China, and to also undertake activities which are aimed at improving public understanding of FCVs.
There are presently five hydrogen stations in China which are centred in the metropolitan regions of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The hydrogen station which Toyota plans to construct at TMEC will be the first of its kind in Changshu. Through this project, Toyota will work together with the Chinese government and other business organisations within the industry to explore the potential for the creation of a hydrogen-based society.
Toyota is also proceeding with demonstration tests in countries such as Australia, the U.A.E., and Canada.