Toyota reveals revamped hydrogen sedan

The new Toyota Mirai model boasts longer driving range than its predecessor and completely redesigned fuel cell stack and hydrogen tanks. (Toyota handout photo)
Updated 12 October 2019

Toyota reveals revamped hydrogen sedan

TOKYO: Toyota Motor Corp. unveiled a redesigned hydrogen-powered fuel cell sedan on Friday in its latest attempt to revive demand for the niche technology that it hopes will become mainstream.

Japan’s biggest automaker has been developing fuel-cell vehicles for more than two decades, but the technology has been eclipsed by the rapid rise of rival battery-powered electric vehicles promoted by the likes of Tesla Inc.

Ahead of the Tokyo Motor Show starting on Oct. 24, Toyota unveiled a prototype of the new hydrogen sedan built on the same platform as its luxury Lexus brand’s LS coupe. The new Mirai model boasts longer driving range than its predecessor and completely redesigned fuel cell stack and hydrogen tanks, the company said.

“We wanted to make a car that people really want to buy, not just because it’s an eco car,” Yoshikazu Tanaka, chief engineer of the new Mirai, said at the unveiling.

“We wanted something that’s fun to drive.”

The vehicle’s sporty redesign with longer wheelbase and lower-slung chassis is a marked departure from the first-generation Mirai, which looks like a bulked-up Prius hybrid.

The new car also has a 30 percent improvement in driving range over the previous iteration’s approximately 700 km (435 miles), according to the company.

Tanaka said the latest Mirai would cost less to make than its predecessor, because of a shift to mass production. The current model is mostly assembled by hand.

Costing consumers about 5 million yen ($46,500) after subsidies in Japan, the original Mirai is one of three fuel cell cars available to drivers. Hyundai Motor Co. sells the Nexo, while Honda Motor leases out the Clarity.

Toyota has sold fewer than 10,000 of the Mirai, a fuel cell sedan it touted as a game changer at its launch five years ago. By contrast, Tesla sold 25,000 of battery-powered Model S sedans in its first year and a half.

Toyota declined to disclose a price for the model and said it would be available from late next year in Japan, North America and Europe.


BT warns UK that banning Huawei too fast could cause outages

Updated 13 July 2020

BT warns UK that banning Huawei too fast could cause outages

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to decide this week whether to impose tougher restrictions on Huawei
  • British PM in January granted Huawei a limited role in the 5G network

LONDON: BT CEO Philip Jansen urged the British government on Monday not to move too fast to ban China’s Huawei from the 5G network, cautioning that there could be outages and even security issues if it did.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to decide this week whether to impose tougher restrictions on Huawei, after intense pressure from the United States to ban the Chinese telecoms behemoth from Western 5G networks.
Johnson in January defied President Donald Trump and granted Huawei a limited role in the 5G network, but the perception that China did not tell the whole truth over the coronavirus crisis and a row over Hong Kong has changed the mood in London.
“If you are to try not to have Huawei at all, ideally we would want seven years and we could probably do it in five,” Jansen told BBC radio.
Asked what the risks would be if telecoms operators were told to do it in less than five years, Jansen said: “We need to make sure that any change of direction does not lead to more risk in the short term.”
“If we get to a situation where things need to go very, very fast, then you are into a situation where potentially service for 24 million BT Group mobile customers is put into question — outages,” he said.
In what some have compared to the Cold War antagonism with the Soviet Union, the United States is worried that 5G dominance is a milestone toward Chinese technological supremacy that could define the geopolitics of the 21st century.
The United States says Huawei is an agent of the Chinese Communist State and cannot be trusted.
Huawei, the world’s biggest producer of telecoms equipment, has said the United States wants to frustrate its growth because no US company could offer the same range of technology at a competitive price.