2017 Toyota Mirai
Are Hydrogen-Fueled Cars Safe?
What You Need To Know
by Bill Flitter
When most people hear, ‘hydrogen fuel cell cars,’ their first thought might be of water, which is perfectly reasonable. After all, it takes two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen to make water, hence, H20. Plus, water is one of the most abundant substances on the planet. So, when the 2017 Toyota Mirai, a hydrogen fuel cell car, was recently announced you might have thought, “Wow, Toyota made a car that runs on water! How cool is that?”
But then your second thought, especially if you grew up in the 80s during the Cold War when the threat of nuclear war was at an all-time high, might be, “Wait, don’t they make bombs out of hydrogen—you know, hydrogen bombs, also known as nuclear bombs?” Well, you wouldn’t be wrong on that front either.
2017 Toyota Mirai
Are Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars Safe?
It turns out that hydrogen is perfectly safe. According to the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association’s website, “Hydrogen has been proven to be as safe as or even safer than other flammable fuels such as gasoline or natural gas.”
The caveat is that, “…hydrogen can leak easily and ignite at relatively low temperature.”
So, now you’re hoping the 2017 Toyota Mirai has proper safety features in place, which apparently they do. Toyota describes a four-point process on how to keep the hydrogen from exploding:
- Leak-proof tanks hold the hydrogen
- In case of a collision, sensors stop the flow of hydrogen
- Any leaked hydrogen is quickly dispersed
- Hydrogen escapes safely into the atmosphere
Hopefully, these safety measures will put your mind at rest if you are unsure about fuel cell cars. The video explores the safety concerns of hydrogen-powered cars.
How and Where To Fuel Your New 2017 Toyota Mirai
Now that you know that hydrogen is safe, the next question is, where do I get hydrogen and how in the world am I going to get it into the car? Well, Toyota has you covered in that respect as well, at least for the first three years. The Japanese car manufacturer is offering three years’ of complimentary fuel or $15,000 worth of hydrogen.
Toyota will provide new Mirai owners, or lessees, a debit card, which they can use at fueling stations. Those hydrogen fueling stations might be far and few between (see below); unless you live in California and live in either the Los Angeles or San Francisco Bay Area. Either way, you’re not going to find a hydrogen station as easily as a gas station. However, the times, they are a changin’. If you do find a hydrogen station, it will take about five minutes to fill up. On just one refueling, you’ll be able to travel approximately 312 miles.
Shopping For The 2017 Toyota Mirai
Over To You
What are your thoughts on the future of hydrogen fuel? Would you consider owning one?