Fuel cell for all: one Dutch company’s democratic plan to share the Toyota Mirai
- Gas and electricity network operator Stedin is leasing two Toyota Mirai fuel cell vehicles for a 4-year period as part of a plan to have a majority of zero emission vehicles in the company’s fleet by 2020
- From top manager to mechanic: all employees will get their chance to drive the fuel cell cars
- Following the United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany, Belgium and Norway, the Netherlands is the 6th European country to start selling the world’s first fuel cell sedan
Even though Mirai means “Future” in Japanese, the Dutch independent gas and electricity network operator Stedin intends to demonstrate that driving a fuel cell powered car is already very effective today. Stedin is leasing two units of the hydrogen car for a period of 4 years and will allow all of its employees to drive them, regardless of their role within the company. The Toyota Mirai, the world’s first fuel cell sedan, runs on electricity that is created in the on-board fuel cell stack where the oxygen from the air reacts with the hydrogen from the tank leaving no tailpipe emissions other than water vapour.
Hydrogen: offering new business opportunities
Hydrogen offers many advantages as a clean source of energy. Besides providing the fuel to drive the Toyota Mirai, it also has the capability to absorb peaks in the power network at times when there is for example a surplus of energy and demand is low. Stedin wants to further research the business opportunities that hydrogen has to offer. When receiving the keys of the Toyota Mirai, Frans van de Noort, Director of Operations Stedin, commented: "We want to make our company fleet more sustainable: by 2020 we want our company fleet to mainly consist of zero emissions cars. This is quite a challenge, because we have 1,700 vans, 900 passenger cars and 600 privately leased cars, representing one of the largest commercial fleets in the country. We do rely on full electric vehicles. However, we also realise that hydrogen is an interesting alternative. With these Mirai cars, we want to see for ourselves if this technology is working and if there is widespread support for this new type of vehicle within the company."
With support from Dutch Government
Sales of the Toyota Mirai in the Netherlands will start this month. With its fiscal policy, the Dutch Government has clearly marked their support towards the market launch of this new hydrogen technology. Customers can capitalize on many fiscal benefits, such as: exemption of luxury taxes and road tax up to and including 2020, and a benefit in kind tax of only 4% for private use of a company car, given the fact that the Toyota Mirai is a zero emission vehicle.
Toyota Mirai contributor to ambitious 2050 Toyota Environmental Challenge
Toyota has made a clear commitment to reduce the CO2 emissions of its new vehicles by 90% in 2050 (versus 2010 levels). We believe hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will be essential to achieve our ambitious targets. Toyota has been engaged in the research and development of automotive hydrogen fuel cell technology for over 20 years. The result of this hard work is the Toyota Mirai, a remarkable zero emission car with a driving range of up to 550 km that can be refueled in 3 to 5 minutes. Toyota started commercializing the Mirai in December 2014 and to date has delivered cars in Japan, the United States, Germany, UK, Denmark, Belgium and Norway with Sweden to follow later this year.