Like Pushkar I went to Ecomondo, and there I had the very special opportunity to test drive the new Toyota Mirai, the first hydrogen powered mass produced car EVER!
The reason why I am so hyped about this car is because it is a revolutionary step in the mobility sector: Powered with hydrogen it produces just vapor from the tailpipe. The electricity produced that powers the electric motor with 155 hp and max speed of 180 km/h comes from a fuel cell that transforms hydrogen into electric power.
The possible range with one fuel load is around 550 km which makes it comparable to the max range of conventional cars with combustion motors.
Enough theoretical facts, how is it to drive this 80.000 € car? It is very silent! When you start the engine you can hear just a silent buzzzzzzzing sound coming from the electric engine. Lifting your leg from the break lets the car moves and just a slight push on the acceleration pedal is like “whooooww, that’s fast!”. Handling is fine and harmonic, the interior is futuristic but still cleaned up and organized.
One big problem with hydrogen cars is that the gas station net is very weak or not simply not existing; the car I tested has to be refilled at Bolzano where the only plant for refilling hydrogen in Italy is located.
If you follow our blog than you might know that one of the topics we discuss most is how to create energy in a sustainable way and how we can store that energy.
When electricity gets produced it has one big disadvantage: it has to be consumed when it gets produced. It is very difficult to store energy in big quantities. One possibility for the future could be what we discussed in one of our previous blog entries (HERE: Tesla lets you store energy at home) storing energy in a decentralized way.
Pumping water to higher places and use it when most needed is another way. But here i show you something even better: Using wind power to create hydrogen. In this article from derstandard.at, my favorite Austrian newspaper.
In a pilot project in Niederösterreich wind power gets used to create hydrogen trough electrolysis. Hydrogen is a high energy fuel, that can be used in different ways to get stored and then reused for energy production. The station build can produce up to 31 kg of hydrogen a day, consuming 50 liters of water/hour.
Right now the gained hydrogen can also be used to get mixed in the conventional natural gas pipelines, that allow a percentage of up to 5% mixture. But also cars could be powered with hydrogen.
The security aspect is not more difficult to handle than with other comparable substances. Hopefully this project shows that this is a way that has a bright future. Applied on a big scale this could be a realistic way to gain in energetic independence and in energetic sustainability.