A new hydrogen-fueled Toyota Lexus seems to be in the works, even though the Mirai, the first widely available hydrogen fuel-cell electric car hasn’t even gone on sale in the U.S. and Europe yet. The Mirai was introduced in Japan earlier this Fall and was followed by quite the hype. The Mirai should be released in the U.S. and Europe in October 2015, but now we have word that a new hydrogen-fueled luxury vehicle is in the works from the Japanese giant, Toyota.
Toyota plans on making hybrid models for each of their releases by 2020, an endeavor that seems to be underway but still has a long way to go until the promise is fulfilled. The automotive giant is working on hydrogen-fueled vehicles until then, sources saying that we should see hydrogen-fueled Corollas, Crowns and a Lexus LS limousine, too. The hydrogen-fueled Lexus will reportedly keep its design, but it will be modified so as to accommodate the Toyota Fuel Cell System. That means that the nose of the Lexus will be outfitted with larger air intakes that would ventilate the hydrogen-fueled electric system in the car. The hydrogen fuel-cell system will be hidden under the front seat, with the actual hydrogen tanks placed under the rear seat and parcel shelf.
The hydrogen-fueled Lexus will be 200 kg lighter than the current limousine model, weighing 2100 kg and will house a power unit that combines a 150kW fuel-cell stack and a 220kW electric motor. With that setup, the Lexus should be able to go for 384 km without dangerous emissions. In regards to price, the hydrogen-fueled Lexus limousine should cost more than $100,000. While that is a hefty price to pay, it still is within the range of already existing Lexus models like the LS 600h L and the LS 600h F Sport.
Hydrogen-fueled vehicles are becoming more and more popular, with Hyundai, Volkswagen and BMW already working on their own models. Toyota is currently the giant of hydrogen-fueled electric vehicles and is the pioneer of commercial electric cars, so the company will surely keep on track with emission-free electric vehicles in the future. Toyota reportedly wants to release more Mirai and Lexus models in the future, naturally outfitted with hydrogen fuel cells. Even though these electric vehicles are currently very expensive, the implementation of hydrogen fuel cell technology in them marks an important step towards safe and emission-free vehicles. Even though the production of hydrogen isn’t a particularly “green” process, the Mirai and other hydrogen-fueled electric vehicles mark a stepping stone in automotive technology. Way to go, Toyota.