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Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle trials to kick-off in Australia

The Mirai fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) will be trialed in Melbourne for 12 weeks.

Toyota Australia has partnered with Hobson's Bay City Council in Melbourne's west to conduct a real-world trial of a fleet of hydrogen fuel-cell Mirai vehicles.

The Mirai fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) trial will last for 12 weeks, driven in a variety of conditions by members of the council to test the car’s zero-emissions capabilities.

After that, Toyota plans to conduct several other trials in the next three years, lending the Mirai to companies and organisations for up to 12 weeks at a time.

As there is currently no adequate FCEV refuelling network nearby, Toyota will deploy a mobile refueling station to its former manufacturing site in Altona, nearby to the Hobson’s Bay City Council, for top ups.

Offering around 550km of driving range from its hydrogen-powered fuel-cell powertrain, the Mirai delivers 114kW of power and 335Nm of torque, roughly the same outputs as the 110kW/340Nm 2.2-litre diesel RAV4 SUV.

According to Toyota Australia manager of advanced technology vehicles and site development Matt Macleod, the trial will help spread awareness for the alternatively powered Mirai sedan.

“We know that it's only a matter of time before CO2 regulations arrive in Australia, and that’s why there is such a huge focus on zero-emission vehicles like the Mirai,” Mr MacLeod said.

“This trial is a step in the right direction and that’s why we're excited to partner with Hobson’s Bay City Council to see these Mirai used in a number of real-world applications.

“It’s a great opportunity to highlight the fact that these cars drive just like any other vehicle, except they don’t make any engine noise and emit nothing but water vapour.

“Like most hydrogen powered vehicles, the Mirai isn’t currently available for sale in Australia, mainly because there isn't existing hydrogen refuelling infrastructure to support it.”

Will hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles take off Down Under? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below.