Toyota hopes Mirai becomes the next Prius

Fortune

One of the most advanced and sophisticated alternative-fuel vehicles soon will be available in the U.S. with the debut of Toyota’s Mirai, a vehicle powered by a hydrogen fuel cell.

Mirai’s fuel cell converts hydrogen to electricity and emits water vapor, emitting no pollutants. A major hurdle to the technology is the lack of an infrastructure to distribute hydrogen, which Toyota [fortune-stock symbol=”TM”] is addressing by promoting and facilitating the construction of fueling stations in California and five northeastern states.

Unlike a typical battery-powered electric vehicle, which has a range of less than one hundred miles, Mirai (“future,” in Japanese) claims a range of 300 miles on a tank of hydrogen, which can be refilled in five minutes.

Honda introduced a fuel-cell vehicle called FCX Clarity on a limited basis in the U.S. in 2002. Honda has leased only a handful of the model in the past two years.

Many…

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