UCL trials Toyota hydrogen car

University College London has taken delivery of a Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell electric car to aid its research into advanced powertrain technologies.

According to Toyota, the Mirai will complement the university in its studies into how fuel cells can be combined with new battery technologies. It will also be used by UCL staff as a shuttle between the university’s base in Bloomsbury and its new campus in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles produce zero tailpipe emissions

The Toyota Mirai is powered by electricity generated on-board by a fuel cell stack through the process of combining hydrogen with oxygen, with a range of up to 300 miles, according to the vehicle manufacturer.

Dr Michael Whiteley, head of fuel cell engineering at the UCL Electrochemical Innovation Lab, said: “Our research into fuel cell technology shows it’s a serious alternative to fossil fuel cars. We’re excited to take delivery of our own Toyota Mirai fuel cell car on the UCL Quad and also at UCL East, where our new Advance Propulsion Lab will be based.

“We’ll be testing the car on London’s busy roads and using it to demonstrate the technology. The next stage of our work is to develop and evaluate hybrid, battery and fuel cell power systems for automotive applications. Having access to a fuel cell car will greatly enhance our position as a world-leader in fuel cell research and development.”

Paul Van der Burgh, president and managing director of Toyota GB, added: “We hope that the technological breakthrough we have made with Mirai will help a new generation of UCL-trained scientists discover how fuel cell technology might be used to shape the powertrains of the future. Toyota believes in the great potential of hydrogen as a clean, practical and plentiful source of clean energy and is keen to encourage and support research into how these benefits to society can be realised.”