The future of pure electric vehicles is unknown. Is hydrogen energy the way out?

After the Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota Motor revealed the remodeled hydrogen fuel cell model Mirai. Toyota revealed that the new Mirai will be officially unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show, which opened on October 24.

Toyota launched its first Mirai model in 2014 and has sold about 10,000 vehicles worldwide so far. The upcoming Mirai, based on the first generation, redesigned the fuel cell stack and hydrogen tank of the car, and its cruising range is nearly 30% higher than the old model, more than 500 kilometers. The design of the new Mirai has also been improved, and the exterior is more like a sports car, and the overall look is more fashionable.

The front line | Toyota adheres to the hydrogen fuel cell route and plans to expand its production capacity by 10 times

New Mirai (picture from Toyota official)

Toyota is pushing a fuel cell vehicle at a node where the future of pure electric vehicles is uncertain. It is a continuation of its long-standing fuel cell route.Toyota has developed fuel cell vehicles. More than 20 years of history.

Compared to battery cars, fuel cell vehicles have many advantages, including faster energy storage time and longer cruising range. Hydrogen fuel power works on the principle that compressed hydrogen is combined with oxygen in the atmosphere in a fuel cell, thereby generating electrical energy and storing it in the battery. The only by-product of the entire operation of a hydrogen vehicle is water, which does not emit any harmful substances.

In spite of the early start, due to material cost pressures and obstacles in the construction of hydrogenation infrastructure, the progress of Toyota’s new energy vehicle business is also under the environment that the entire hydrogen fuel cell vehicle market is not mature enough. Very slow.

In the current competition in the new energy vehicle market, Toyota is far behind the market leader Tesla, and sales are not as good as other traditional OEMs such as Volkswagen. According to LMC Automotive, Toyota sold only 1,000 electric vehicles last year, while Tesla sold a total of 220,000.

Toyota General Manager Taiyo Kawai said that Toyota has recently made progress in fuel cell related technology, mixing hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity.The cost of fuel cell stacks has been cut in half. This makes Toyota’s global production of fuel cell vehicles from 3,000 in 2018, is expected to grow to 30,000 next year – means that Toyota will increase hydrogen production by 10 times in a year or two. is expected to increase production capacity to 200,000 units by 2025.

Although the strong competitors such as GM and BMW are mainly investing in pure electric vehicles in the new energy field, they have already invested in fuel cell technology, which poses competitive pressure on Toyota. At the same time, the current global hydrogen refueling station is seriously lacking, and Toyota is still uncertain on the road to promote fuel cell vehicles.

At present, Toyota has not disclosed the price of the new model, but said that the new generation of Mirai was first introduced to the market at the end of next year, and the first batch will be invested in Japan, North America and Europe.