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Toyota Mirai FCV wins at the e-Rally Monte-Carlo

Driven by Artur Prusak and Thierry Benchetrit, the hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai from Toyota France took first place in the first e-Rally Monte-Carlo, which was held between Fontainebleau and Monaco.


The three Mirai cars entered by Toyota France, one of which was driven by Georges Marsan, the Mayor of Monaco, all finished the race after completing a course of more than 1,000 km (621 miles).

Using a mobile refueling station developed by Air Liquide, the performance of the three cars demonstrated the sustainability of the hydrogen fuel cell over a long distance.

Organized by the Monaco Automobile Club from 12-16 October between Fontainebleau and Monaco, the e-Rally Monte-Carlo is a regularity rally compliant with FIA regulations and restricted to “zero-emission” cars. Thirty-five crews of nine different nationalities were registered, primarily with battery electric vehicles. The three Mirai cars entered by Toyota France all crossed the finishing line, demonstrating the performance, reliability and sustainability of hydrogen fuel cell technology over such a distance—the longest distance ever travelled in France by hydrogen powered cars.

The Toyota Mirai is currently available for sale in seven European countries: Germany, Denmark, United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, and the Netherlands.



Current BEVs are no match for Toyota FCEVs on a long rally. FCEVs have higher extended range and much quicker (10X) refuelling.


So a fuel cell car not designed as a performance model is already the fastest over a distance than fast accelerating BEVs which run out of puff due to thermal issues at sustained high speed and take some time to recharge.


Well said Davemart.

Sales of FCEVs (cars, SUVs and heavy trucks and buses) will pick up in 2017 and onward.

Consumers will pick the car that best meets their needs and lifestyle. Not a big market out there for cars that can go 621 miles fastest (on expensive fuel).

A car that can go 238 miles with overnight charging at $0.12 / kWh on the other hand, that's a winner.

Sheldon Harrison

There is a large enough market for such a vehicle (at least 10% of the driving population conservatively) for such a vehicle to thrive. If there is a 10% market, then I guarantee that H2 will be provided for $6 or less per KG, even when made from renewables costing 2 - 3 c per KWH. Note Great Plains wind is at those prices and solar PV in the SW is rapidly approaching those levels.

There is an even larger market for a vehicle that gives one the flexibility they now have re long distance travel. I am talking about not having to spend 30 minutes to an hour to charge before one even leaves on their return trip because ready access to an overnight charge was unavailable for any myriad number of reasons. Example, all chargers in use overnight because many persons made the trip simultaneously and multiple vehicles require the charge and you get left out. No chargers available at overnight place of rest etc. etc.

Please folks, just think a bit about how people behave currently, especially around holidays etc. Get out some more and observe your fellow citizens when they are taking trips.

> just think a bit about how people behave currently...

Good thing we don't all stay home or tied to the office to make phone calls like we used to. That would be kind of silly in an era of mobile phones.

People's behavior always changes around the capabilities of the technology they use.

New technology, new behaviors.

Sheldon Harrison

You realize the example you used is a bad one? It represents a case of people embracing technology that enhances autonomy and freedom (cell phones). Who would not do that?

The BEV paradigm on a long trip is an example of the opposite. You are constraining freedom of mobility that is currently the norm. You may argue that some persons will trade that convenience for low running costs etc. but there are plenty of examples of people paying a premium for convenience.

Size of market is the operative concept. You are correct, there is a market for hydrogen cars. Unfortunately for the manufacturers, the market is very small. Toyota showed just how small with their recent discount sale to employees, which now comprise about half of their total customer base for the Mirai in the US.

Chevrolet, on the other hand, is breaking EV sales records with the Volt, and will likely do at least as well with the Bolt.

Toyota will probably vault to the top of the plug-in sales charts with the Prius Prime based on the strength of the Prius brand and dealer network and presumably, Toyota technical excellence.

Within a year, they'll be competing with themselves. The bottom line always wins.

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