Battery electric vehicles are currently emblematic of the Green Car Ball, butThe fuel cell makes a compelling case for EVs to keep the party invitation open. For example, Toyota claims the Guinness World Record for the longest distance traveled by a fuel cell vehicle without refueling, completing a journey of 845 miles around Southern California.
This year the record attempt was made over two days on 23 and 24 August, with professional hypermiler Wayne Gerds behind the wheel and Bob Winger as his co-pilot. After 5 minutes of filling, the 2021 Mirai’s tank was sealed and certified by Guinness World Records officials, before the team left the Toyota Technical Center in Garda, California. Mirai traveled to San Ysidro, then Santa Barbara, then continued along the Pacific Coast Highway through Santa Monica and Malibu before returning to Gardena. The team reached back at TTC with 473 miles logged by GPS.
On Day 2, the team resumed their driving, covering 372 more miles on a local loop, covering a total of 845 miles before turning back on the TTC. Guinness officials then confirmed that the FCEV’s tank seal had not been tampered with and began the process of authenticating the record attempt.
Toyota tells us that the Mirai averaged 152 miles per gallon and consumed a total of 5.65 kilograms of hydrogen over two days of testing. Its only tailpipe emission is water. The automaker estimates that a combustion-powered sedan would have emitted about 664 pounds of CO2 over the same distance. I pulled up the EPA’s numbers to do the math myself and it more or less checks out: Uniform sizeFor a total distance of about 352 grams per mile, a total of 658 pounds of CO2 would have been eliminated.
The record-keeping vehicle was unmodified; Toyota attributes its extended-range performance to proper maintenance and a combination of wheel alignment, fine-tune tire pressure and hypermiling driving techniques.
“In 2016, the Toyota Mirai was the first production fuel cell electric vehicle available for retail sale in North America, and now the next generation Mirai is setting a distance record,” said Bob Carter, executive vice president of Toyota Motor North America. “We are proud to be the leader of this exciting technology, one of the growing lineups of zero-emissions vehicles in our portfolio.”