How the Toyota Mirai Is Paving the Way for a Hydrogen-Based Future

There’s more than one way to create a high-performance, zero-emission vehicle.

With federal and state regulations in California requiring the majority of new vehicles sold to be emission-free starting in the 2030s — and consumer interest for electric vehicles increasing steadily — a future defined by EV transportation looks likely. But battery power is not the only option. As Toyota Motor Chairman Akio Toyoda recently put it: “There are many ways to climb the mountain that is achieving carbon neutrality.” One alternate way up is through the use of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) powered by hydrogen, a category led by the Toyota Mirai.

Hydrogen powers FCEVs much like gasoline does for internal combustion vehicles. A key difference is that it generates zero vehicle emissions, and the only by-product is water. The Mirai relies on a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen (from the air) to create electricity to power the vehicle rather than bulky battery packs that need to be slowly recharged at a power outlet. This type of FCEV can be refueled within approximately five minutes (versus the approximately 30-minutes-to-12-hours it takes to charge a BEV) and can have a higher range rating than a BEV — the 2024 Mirai XLE has an EPA-estimated 402-mile driving range rating.

The 2024 model of the Mirai is the second generation of the Japanese automaker’s FCEV and is one part of the company’s electrification strategy that also includes the Prius (the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle) and a line of BEVs. It’s a great option for individuals who make purposeful buying decisions and who don’t want to compromise on style or design. Think of the Mirai as a luxury sedan that just happens to be powered by hydrogen.

The newer model of the Mirai, available in XLE and Limited grades, comes equipped with a rear-wheel drive GA-L platform and a body that is lower, longer, and wider than the first model. Toyota’s engineers have moved the fuel stack to the front of the vehicle, giving it a near 50:50 balance for a smoother driving experience. Inside, you’ll find all the features you’d expect from a luxury Toyota. There’s a 12.3-inch touchscreen multimedia display equipped with USB type-C connection, Active Sound Control for an ultra-quiet cabin experience, a 14-speaker JBL sound system with subwoofer and amplifier, and a Qi-compatible charging tray to charge smartphones wirelessly.

The Mirai, of course, also offers tons of safety and convenience features, including Toyota Safety Sense 3.0, Star Safety System, Blind Spot Monitor, Advanced Park, and optional Bird’s Eye View Camera and Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automated Braking.

As transportation accounts for about 29% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, any individual concerned about their vehicle’s fuel source should consider upgrading to hydrogen power. Currently, the Mirai is sold at 11 dealers in the Los Angeles and San Francisco regions, as California is home to the most hydrogen refueling stations in the country. To help ease the transition to hydrogen fuel, Toyota offers customers a complimentary fuel card up to $15,000 or six years — whichever comes first — to help cover the cost of hydrogen.

With its sleek looks, impressive features, and the quality you’d expect from Toyota, the Mirai is paving the way for a future in which hydrogen-powered vehicles work hand in hand with BEVs to help drive American vehicle emissions to zero.

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