Innovative 2016 Toyota Mirai unveiled as first hydrogen-powered pace car for NASCAR race at Richmond

Innovative 2016 Toyota Mirai unveiled as first hydrogen-powered pace car for NASCAR race at Richmond ...
autoweek.com 27/04/2015 Auto

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The 2016 Toyota Mirai will lead the field in Richmond on Saturday night. Photo by Toyota

* * * Pace car is first to bring hyrogen fuel-cell technology to NASCAR pace-car duties
The 2016 Toyota Mirai, a hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle, will pace the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night.
The car will serve as the first hydrogen-fueled vehicle to pace a NASCAR race. It will lead the Sprint Cup Series field to the green flag at Richmond on Saturday night and emit only water out of its tailpipe along the way.

"Having a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle pace the Toyota Owners 400 is a historic moment for both Toyota and NASCAR, and we're proud it's the Toyota Mirai," said Ed Laukes, vice president of marketing, performance and guest experience, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. "Bringing the Mirai to Richmond to pace this important race is another way for Toyota to showcase our innovation and environmental leadership."
The Mirai is a four-door, midsize sedan with performance to pace the 43-car NASCAR field at Richmond International Raceway while using no gasoline and emitting nothing but water vapor. The groundbreaking fuel cell electric vehicle is powered by hydrogen, refuels in about five minutes and travels up to 300 miles on a full tank. It will arrive first to buyers in California later this year.
The Mirai was tested and approved by NASCAR to pace the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race after a test session at RIR on Thursday. In the test session, the Mirai met NASCAR's performance requirements to pace the 400-mile NSCS race.
There is Toyota precedent bringing hybrid and alternative fuel technology to track. The Toyota Camry Hybrid earned praise as the first hybrid vehicle to pace a full NASCAR race when the hybrid vehicle was used for the Coca Cola 600 in May 2009.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Mirai
The Toyota Mirai (Japanese for "future") is a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, one of the first hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles to be sold commercially. The Mirai was unveiled at the November 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. Toyota plans to build 700 vehicles for global sales during 2015.
Sales in Japan began on 15 December 2014 at a price of ¥6.7 million (~US$57,400). The Japanese government plans to support the commercialization of fuel-cell vehicles with a subsidy of ¥2 million (~US$19,600). Retail sales in the U.S. are scheduled to start by mid-2015 at a price of US$57,500 before any government incentives, and initially will be available only in California. The market release in Europe is slated for September 2015, and initially will be available only in the UK, Germany and Denmark, followed by other countries in 2017. Pricing in Germany starts at €60,000 (~US$75,140) plus VAT (€78,540) .
History
FCV concept
The Mirai is based on the Toyota FCV (Fuel Cell Vehicle) concept car, which was unveiled at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. The unveiled FCV concept was a bright blue sedan shaped like a drop of water "to emphasize that water is the only substance that hydrogen-powered cars emit from their tailpipes." The FCV has a large grille and other openings to allow cooling air and oxygen intake for use by the fuel cell. According to Toyota, the FCV concept is close in appearance to the expected production version of the car. The FCV size is similar to the Toyota Camry. The FCV range is expected to be approximately 700 km (430 mi) under Japan's JC08 test cycle.

According to Toyota, the FCV features a fuel cell system with an output power density of 3.0 kW/L, which is twice as high as that of its previous fuel cell concept, the Toyota FCHV-adv, delivering an output power of more than 100 kW, despite significant unit downsizing. The FCV uses Toyota's proprietary, small, light-weight fuel cell stack and two 70 MPa high-pressure hydrogen tanks placed beneath the specially designed body. The Toyota FCV concept can accommodate up to four occupants. For the full-scale market launch in 2015, the cost of the fuel cell system is expected to be 95% lower than that of the 2008 Toyota FCHV-adv.
The FCV concept also uses the Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive technology including the electric motor, power control unit and other parts and components from its hybrid vehicles to improve reliability and minimize cost. The hybrid technology is also used to work together with the fuel cell. At low speeds such as city driving, the FCV runs just like any all-electric car by using the energy stored in its battery, which is charged through regenerative braking. At higher speeds, the hydrogen fuel cell alone powers the electric motor. When more power is needed, for example during sudden acceleration, the battery supports the fuel cell system as both work together to provide propulsion.

In June 2014 Toyota showcased an FCV with an exterior design close to production, and announced details about pricing in Japan and set a domestic market launch before April 2015 with initial sales limited to regions where hydrogen refueling infrastructure is being developed.
Timeline
1992: Toyota starts development of FCV technology.
1996: The EVS13, an FCV with a metal hydride hydrogen tank, takes part in a parade in Osaka.
2001: Toyota shows the FCHV-4, FCHV-5, and Daihatsu MOVE FCV-K-II fuel-cell cars at the Tokyo Motor Show.
2002: The Highlander-based FCHV is available for limited sales in the U.S. and Japan. The fuel-cell stack outputs 90 kW. The cruising range is 300 km/186 miles. Two FCHVs are delivered to the Irvine and Davis campuses of University of California, four go to government departments in Japan.
2003: Toyota and Daihatsu begin road testing of the MOVE FCV-K-II, a fuel-cell Kei car.
2005: FCHV receives type certification in Japan.
2008: The FCHV-adv has increased range (830 km/516 miles, 10-15 test cycle) and better cold start capabilities.
2009: U.S. government drops funding for hydrogen fuel-cell cars.
2010: A Toyota/Hino FCHV Bus services daily commercial routes between Tokyo’s Haneda Airport and the city center.
2011: Satoshi Ogiso, deputy chief officer Product Planning Group, declares all technical problems as solved, says “the only remaining real issue that stands in the way of fuel-cell electric vehicles is mass production cost.”

2011: Toyota shows an FCV concept vehicle, dubbed "FCV-R," at the Tokyo Motor Show.
2012: Toyota Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada says: “The current capabilities of electric vehicles do not meet society’s needs, whether it may be the distance the cars can run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge.”
2013: Reporters drive test mules of the fuel cell vehicle. Toyota demonstrates that fueling takes less than three minutes.
2013: Toyota shows FCV sedan at Tokyo Motor Show.
June 2014: Toyota shows close-to-production FCV to the press. Announces early 2015 availability in Japan at around ¥7 million.
November 2014: Toyota launches a press release and photos detailing the production version of the fuel cell vehicle. Also announced was the official model name of Mirai which means 'future'

Testing
Toyota began fuel cell development in Japan in the early 1990s and has developed a series of fuel cell vehicles, subjecting them to more than one million miles (1.6 million km) of road testing. Since 2012, fuel cell test vehicles have logged thousands of miles on North American roads. This includes hot testing in Death Valley, cold testing in Yellowknife, Canada, steep grade hill climbs in San Francisco and high altitude trips in Colorado. The Toyota-designed carbon fiber hydrogen tanks have also undergone extreme testing to ensure their strength and durability in a crash.
Specifications
The Mirai uses the Toyota Fuel Cell System (TFCS), which features both fuel cell technology and hybrid technology, and includes proprietary Toyota-developed components including the fuel cell (FC) stack, FC boost converter, and high-pressure hydrogen tanks. The TFCS is more energy-efficient than internal combustion engines and emits no CO2 at the point of operation or substances of concern (SOCs) when driven. The system accelerates Mirai from 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 km/h) in 9.0 seconds and delivers a passing time of 3 seconds from 25 to 40 mph (40 to 64 km/h). The Mirai refueling takes between 3 to 5 minutes, and has a total range of up to 300 mi (480 km) miles on a full tank. As of November 2014, fuel consumption has not been announced. The Mirai has a button labeled  H2O that opens a gate at the rear, dumping the water vapor that forms from the hydrogen-oxygen reaction in the fuel cell. The exhaust  H2O or water volume is 240 mL per 4 km running.
Fuel cell stack

The new Toyota FC Stack achieves a maximum output of 114 kW (153 hp). Electricity generation efficiency has been enhanced through the use of 3D fine mesh flow channels. These channels—a world first, according to Toyota—are arranged in a fine three-dimensional lattice structure and enhance the dispersion of air (oxygen), thereby enabling uniform generation of electricity on cell surfaces. This, in turn, provides a compact size and a high level of performance, including the stack’s world-leading power output density of 3.1 kW/L (2.2 times higher than that of the previous Toyota FCHV-adv limited-lease model), or 2.0 kW/kg. Each stack comprises 370 (single-line stacking) cells, with a cell thickness of 1.34 mm and weight of 102 g. The compact Mirai FC stack generates about 160 times more power than the residential fuel cells on sale in Japan. The Mirai has a new compact (13-liter), high-efficiency, high-capacity converter developed to boost power generated in the Toyota FC Stack to 650 volts.
High-pressure hydrogen tanks
The Mirai has two hydrogen tanks with a three-layer structure made of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic consisting of nylon 6 from Ube Industries and other materials. The tanks store hydrogen at 70 MPa (10,000 psi). The tanks have a combined weight 87.5 kg (193 lb).
Electric traction motor and battery

Toyota's latest generation hybrid components were used extensively in the fuel cell powertrain, including the electric motor, power control and main battery. The electric traction motor delivers 113 kilowatts (152 hp) and 335 N·m (247 lbf·ft) of torque. The Mirai has a 245V (1.6 kWh) sealed nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) traction rechargeable battery pack, similar to the one used in the Toyota Camry hybrid.
Safety
At Toyota’s Higashi-Fuji Technical Center, the Mirai has been subjected to extensive crash testing to evaluate a design specifically intended to address frontal, side and rear impacts and to provide excellent protection of vehicle occupants. A high level of collision safety has also been achieved to help protect the fuel cell stack and high-pressure tanks against body deformation. The high pressure hydrogen tanks have excellent hydrogen permeation prevention performance, strength, and durability. Hydrogen sensors provide warnings and can shut off tank main stop valves. The hydrogen tanks and other hydrogen-related parts are located outside the cabin to ensure that if hydrogen leaks, it will dissipate easily. The vehicle structure is enhanced with carbon-fiber-reinforced polymers from Toray and designed to disperse and absorb impact energy across multiple parts to ensure a high-impact safety performance that protects the Toyota FC Stack and high-pressure hydrogen tanks during frontal, side or rear impacts.
Infrastructure
Main articles: Hydrogen highway and hydrogen station

As of January 2013, Japan had ten demonstration hydrogen fueling stations. Toyota operates three of these stations. To support commercialization of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles by Toyota and other manufacturers, the Japanese government has announced a goal to build approximately 100 hydrogen fueling stations by March 2016 in Japanese cities where the vehicles are planned to be launched initially. California also has ten hydrogen fueling stations, and the government provided about $47 million for 28 additional stations there.
Production
Production of the fuel cell parts began in the Toyota Boshoku factory in November 2014.
Markets and sales
In January 2015 it was announced that production of the Mirai fuel cell vehicle would increase from 700 units in 2015 to approximately 2,000 in 2016 and 3,000 in 2017.
Japan
Sales in Japan began on December 15, 2014. Pricing starts at ¥6.7 million (~US$57,400) before taxes and a government incentive of ¥2 million (~US$19,600). Initially sales are limited to government and corporate customers. As of December 2014, domestic orders had already reached over 400 Mirais, surpassing Japan's first-year sales target, and as a result, there is a waiting list of more than a year.

The Japanese government also provides a subsidy of 50% of the installation costs, with ¥7.2 billion (~US$61.7 million) allocated for fiscal year 2014. A hydrogen station in Japan costs ¥280 million (~US$2.4 million) which is about ¥150 million (~US$1.29 million) more than in Europe which allows more generic materials.
Toyota delivered the first market placed Mirai to the Prime Minister's Official Residence and announced it got 1,500 orders in Japan in one month after sales began on December 15, 2014 against a sales target of 400 for 12 months.
United States
Sales are scheduled to begin in California by mid-2015, followed by five Northeastern States in the first half of 2016 as hydrogen fueling infrastructure is built in the Boston and New York regions. Toyota will provide free hydrogen fueling for the first three years to initial buyers of the Mirai, just as Hyundai does for lessees of its Hyundai Tucson-ix35 Fuel Cell in California. Toyota expects cumulative sales of 3,000 Mirais in the U.S. by the end of 2017.
In the American market the 2016 model year Toyota Mirai will start at US$57,500 before any government incentives, and a leasing option for 36 months will be available with a US$3,649 down payment and a lease rate of US$499 per month. Several states have established incentives and tax exemptions for fuel cell vehicles. As a zero-emission vehicle (ZEV), the Mirai will be eligible for a purchase rebate in California of US$5,000 through the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project. The existing federal tax credit for fuel cell vehicles expired on 31 December 2014.
Europe

The market launch in Europe is slated for September 2015. The UK, Germany and Denmark are the first European countries where the Mirai will be released, followed by additional markets in 2017. In Germany, pricing starts at €60,000 (~US$75,140) plus VAT. Former European Parliament President Pat Cox estimates that Toyota will initially lose between €50,000 to €100,000 (US$60,000 to US$133,000) on each Mirai sold in 2015.
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