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Toyota Mirai, our new company vehicle

HI ERN is the proud owner of Franconia’s first hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle.

The 12th of september was an exciting day for the scientists of the HI ERN. We finally received our new company vehicle, the Toyota Mirai. The use of the Toyota Mirai as our company vehicle allows us to test the hydrogen mobility in our daily life. It is our idea to spread the concept publicly by which our research on hydrogen mobility can be seen and experienced. The name Mirai means future in Japanese, which goes hand in hand with our goal of developing and using renewable energies in the future. By now, the wave of enthusiasm has reached everyone at the HI ERN and we are proud of being one of just a few pioneers on this new type of mobility.

How does the Toyota Fuel Cell System work? In short, it produces electricity from a reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen fuel, which is contained in high-pressure tanks, will be filled up at hydrogen filling stations. This fuel is then fed into a fuel cell stack, in which the hydrogen and the oxygen from the air react with each other and generate electricity and water.

Toyota MiraiCopyright: S. Spoerler

Toyota MiraiDie Öffnung des Wasserstofftanks mit einem Verriegelungselement. Nachfüllen von Wasserstoff in drei bis vier Minuten.
Copyright: S. Spoerler

As pioneers it is always very important to plan the trip regarding `how many kilometers are left` and `where is the next H2 filling station?`. H2.Live is a smartphone app, which gives the drivers all information about where to find the next hydrogen filling station, which status it has, what is planned in future and much more. The build-up of the infrastructure for hydrogen-powered mobility in Germany is organized and created by “Hydrogen mobility”, which is a union founded by six companies and five associated partners from the automobile, gas and oil sectors.

The nearest hydrogen filling station to our institute is in Nürnberg, connected to a common OMV filling station. Filling up with gaseous hydrogen at a pressure of up to 700 bar sounds like a great effort, but it is as simple as filling up gasoline or diesel at a filling station. The pump is connected to the hydrogen fuel tank opening with a locking couple and only three to four minutes are needed to refuel the car.

Furthermore, it was a great pleasure for us to join the first “Mirai Drivers Lounge” in Stuttgart. It was a two-day symposium which included interesting talks about the fuel cell technology, the start-up “Clever Shuttle”, hydrogen mobility and an informative visit at the “World of Energy Solution – electric vehicle symposium & trade fair” exhibition. (More information about the Mirai Drivers Lounge can be found in German: Toyota-media)

All in all, driving the Mirai conjures a smile upon every face.

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