In a bid to promote eco-friendly transportation, the government in U.K. has agreed to provide £2 million funding to boost the number of hydrogen fuel cars.
A total of 20 brand new Toyota Mirai fuel cell vehicles will hit the streets of U.K. after the model has received support in the country’s government as part of a £2 million (about $2.4M) investment plan to promote ultra-low emission cars. The cars are going to be in service by April 2017 and some of the customers include the Science Museum, Aberdeen City Council and Arval. This latest move from the local authorities is part of a significant £600M ($730M) investment in eco-friendly cars by the end of the decade.
U.K. is not only trying to increase the popularity of FCVs, but it’s also working on upgrading the national H2 infrastructure network necessary to help make hydrogen cars a viable and compelling solution. At the same time, Toyota is enhancing its support for the Mirai sold in U.K. by bolstering the specialized service centers catering the four-door sedan with new locations in London, Swindon, Sheffield, Swansea, and Aberdeen set be opened this week.
In related news, ITM Power has inaugurated a public hydrogen refueling station at the Centre of Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence (CEME) in Rainham, east London. On the same site, Toyota has its Technical Training Centre where it offers training related to hydrogen fuel cell technology.
As a reminder, the Mirai has a front-wheel drive layout and offers 152 horsepower (113 kilowatts) and 335 Newton-meters (247 pound-feet) of torque from its electric motor. It tips the scales at a rather hefty 1,850 kilograms, but even so it manages to run the 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) sprint in a decent 9.6 seconds before maxing out at 111 mph (178 kph).
More importantly, it will cover an estimated 312 miles (502 kilometers) before having to refill the carbon fiber-made hydrogen tank, so range anxiety should be less of a problem with the Mirai. On the other hand, at £66,000, it’s not what you would call affordable.