Toyota opened up its Queensland Acacia Ridge headquarters to fleet managers and automotive enthusiasts last Wednesday to test out its new Mirai model – and the general consensus is the car certainly delivers where it counts.
Powered purely by hydrogen – the Mirai’s only emission is water – making it a reliable alternative to traditional combustion engines and even electric vehicles. There is growing interest within the hydrogen-powered FCV sector with Hyundai, Honda and even Mercedes Benz all hoping to release models in coming years.
Tom Leggett, National Fleet Coordinator of Able Australia, said he really liked the overall driving experience of the Mirai but admitted the vehicle might not be the most practical one for his own personal fleet needs.
“Driving the Mirai is a weird concept because it’s completely silent, but it has got more than enough horsepower going through it and it’s generally comfortable,” he said.
“From our own perspective the Mirai would be fairly useless as we need more boot space to put wheelchairs and the like in, but for guys that are using them for office cars they would be fantastic as they are very comfortable.”
Richard Schuster, Group Manager of Procurement Fleet & Sustainability for Churches of Christ In Queensland, also said that the Mirai was generally an impressive performer in a lot of key areas.
“I found the car very good – responsive, comfortable, more than enough power, and well featured,” he said.
“I have not fuelled the car or driven it for an extended period, [but] I’d like to do those tasks to see how the car responds.”
Toyota’s Regional Fleet Manager for the Northern Region Jason Mordacz said last Wednesdasy was an exciting opportunity for fleet managers and others in the automotive sector.
“We are moving forward pretty quickly and are meeting with key fleet clients to look at bringing other vehicles across as the demand increases,” he said.
“We’ve got to get this technology out there and give as many people as we can the chance to drive it.”