Toyota Mirai: Ten cars are sold in the Czech Republic, waiting for refills


Toyota Hydrogen Mirai
Toyota Hydrogen Mirai

The second generation of the Toyota Mirai hydrogen was launched in the Czech Republic in April. It has a single competitor, the Hyundai Nexo. Toyota starts at a price of at least 1.7 million, of which hydrogen technology and control unit alone cost 1.1 million crowns. We examined the car live for the first time. We watch a bit of a race for who is first. We have already tried the hydrogen Hyundai Nexo on Czech roads, but Toyota boasts that it launched the first official sale here.


The second generation of the Mirai model has a Czech price tag and you can order it from April this year. It costs at least 1.7 million crowns, and in the autumn, the cars sold should come from Japan into the hands of Czech enthusiasts.


The Czech representation of Toyota believes that at that time, the first public filling station in the Czech Republic will finally open, in Barrandov, Prague. It is to be built by Unipetrol, but excavation work has not even begun yet. So if you want to fill your car with hydrogen now, you have to go to a private filling station in Neratovice. Or to Germany…


The Neratovice station, designed for hydrogen buses, cannot develop the sufficient pressure of 700 bar that cars need, and so the cylinders of both the Mirai and the competing Nex are only half full.


Nevertheless, Toyota reports that there is great interest from Czech companies and various companies. This year we have promised a roughly 25-piece quota for the Czech market and already about ten cars have been sold, says Jitka Jechová, spokeswoman for the Czech Toyota Representation. The large order was realized by Unipetrol. Reportedly ordered 90% of cars will have this gray paint as, on the exhibited car, bold colors probably do not attract Czech customers as much.


By the way, this is so far the only Mirai in the Czech Republic and will serve as a demonstration car for clients and journalists. How big she is will stand to outlive. It measures almost five meters in length, ie as a manager's limousine. It is also relatively low. The futuristic bow attracts at first sight and does not deny the Japanese approach to design.


The door closes with ease and with a metallic bang, which is also typical of Toyota. You can't expect much from the trunk, because the car's body sits on three hydrogen cylinders, so just over 270 liters can fit under the lid.


While the first generation Mirai was homologated for only four people, the new one could theoretically be seated by five people. But the central tunnel is huge, so only a child would fit comfortably there is nowhere to put your feet. I hope the shorter journey will last.


Otherwise, the interior looks quite conventional. The dashboard is dominated by a large display and the way the display and graphics will be well known to owners of modern Toyota. It will not be possible to drive until June, so at least let's summarize what we know about the new Mirai.


It uses a chassis that also has the current Lexus LS. The hydrogen drive consists of three parts, hydrogen tanks, a set of fuel cells, and a drive unit - electric motor, batteries, and control unit.


We use knowledge from our Toyota / Lexus hybrid cars, which is why we trust technology so much. The control unit is common, the battery comes from LS 500h and the electric motor from UX300e. We provide a standard 3-year and 5-year warranty on hybrid hydrogen technology, says Václav Zikmund, Toyota manager specializing in the Mirai model.


The warranty on hydrogen tanks should be 15 years. The service interval is set at 1 year / 15,000 km and, according to Václav Zikmund, service inspections are to be the same as for Toyota petrol engines.


Toyota Mirai technology


The new Mirai has three hydrogen cylinders, while in the first generation there were only two. The largest is located longitudinally above the front axle, the second has a place under the rear seats and the third extends into the trunk. These tanks use hi-tech technology and are very expensive, costing at least half a million crowns. The shell of the tanks consists of three layers because it must keep small and volatile molecules for a long time, withstand the impact of an accident and withstand the high temperature of a fire.


Hydrogen technology and powertrain cost at least 1.1 million, so everything else is almost free, says Vaclav Zikmund of Toyota.


The control unit combines the power from the battery and the fuel cell, a small traction battery is mounted above the rear axle, because the hydrogen cells do not manage to react as fast as you add gas. The electric motor drives the rear wheels. The Mirai weighs 1.9 tons and has 650 km full tanks. Pumping hydrogen takes only 5 minutes, which is a huge advantage over recharging a classic electric car.


In the first generation, the driver was sitting directly on one of the tanks, and when the compressors sucked in air when accelerating, it was very audible inside. Rear passengers also had trouble tucking their feet under the front seats. By the way, there is not a single first-generation Mirai in the Czech Republic.


Toyota also boasts that the hydrogen car goes beyond zero emissions meaning that it not only has zero exhaust emissions (only water is a waste, Mirai produces 1 liter per 100 kilometers), but also cleans the air. The reason is the need to use the purest possible air for the chemical reaction of hydrogen with oxygen.


A filter with non-woven fabric is placed in the air intake. Sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide and solid particles are captured by an electrochemical reaction. When covering 10,000 kilometers, Mirai clears the air for one person a year. By the way, this filter costs about 7 to 9 thousand crowns.


However, the onboard computer in the car showed the consumption of 1.5 kg of hydrogen per 100 km. Of course, it is possible that someone drove the car more than briskly. The test will therefore show whether the Mirai will meet the promised consumption of 0.8 to 0.9 kg of hydrogen. The kilogram costs about 10 euros, the capacity of the magazine is 5.6 kg. Full tanks will therefore cost less than CZK 1,500.

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