The road ahead
We are at the start of our hydrogen journey and building an extensive hydrogen infrastructure is likely to take many years. However, by the end of 2015 we expect a growing number of stations to be in operation throughout the UK, Germany and Denmark.
An intelligent way to fill up
Hydrogen fuelling stations are a lot like your average petrol station, with a few innovative perks.
Hydrogen refuelling pumps are designed with infrared technology that allows them to communicate with the Mirai's hydrogen fuel control computer. This device relays information such as ambient air temperature, tank pressure and current fill levels to ensure optimum filling.
With the potential to process hydrogen either onsite or offsite, hydrogen fuelling stations are finding innovative ways to utilise a range of production methods, such as electrolysis or steam reforming.
Before hydrogen can be dispensed into a fuel cell vehicle, it needs to be compressed. The Mirai's filled using the latest pressure standard, H70/700 bar, which utilises the smart communication system between car and pump. While it's possible to fill up using an H35/350 bar pump, the tank will only be filled just over halfway.
The future of fuelling
Refuelling the Mirai is as easy as any other conventional car. Other than filling the tank by kilograms rather than litres, everything else will be familiar: there's a pump and a nozzle, with a keypad and an information screen.
And in less than five minutes, you'll be ready to drive for approximately 300 miles.
1. Place the nozzle over the receptacle, creating a secure connection
Unlike conventional petrol pumps, hydrogen nozzles have a barrel that fits over the car's receptacle.
2. Squeeze the handgrip latch to lock the nozzle into place
The pump will not start until the nozzle is properly engaged, preventing any hydrogen from leaking.
3. Let the computer top off the tank
During fuelling, the Mirai's hydrogen fuel control computer disables the vehicle and communicates with the station pump.
4. Wait for the click, then return the nozzle
Once fuelling is complete, pull up the latch to unlock the nozzle and return it to the holder.
The inner workings
Hydrogen stations take processed hydrogen, compress it and cool it to deliver it safely to the Mirai. And since the equipment is built above ground, it is safe and easy to install, service and upgrade.
1. Hydrogen source
Hydrogen is supplied as a compressed gas or a liquid, and is typically stored in bottles known as "cylinder racks," tanks or tube trailers.
The hydrogen is compressed to H35 or H70.
The pressurised hydrogen is then stored in tubes known as "buffers."
Before being dispensed, the hydrogen is cooled in a heat exchanger, enabling quick fuelling.
The cooled hydrogen is transferred to the fuel cell vehicle.
Are you ready for the future?
Interested in joining us on the road to a hydrogen future? Simply complete our sign-up form to join the Mirai revolution.