Country for PR: United States
Contributor: PR Newswire New York
Tuesday, February 23 2021 - 02:08
First of Toyota's Latest Hydrogen-Fuel Vehicle "Mirai" Makes a Debut in Lancaster, California
LANCASTER, Calif., Feb. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

In partnership with the City of Lancaster, Lex Heslin, Senior Project Developer 
at Hitachi Zosen Inova, the Swiss/Japanese energy and engineering firm, was the 
first of a lucky handful of motorists to take delivery of the new 2021 "Mirai" 
Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) in the United States this month. Heslin is 
currently working with the City of Lancaster to advance its plans to become the 
first Hydrogen City and expand the hydrogen electric vehicle market.

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Lancaster has been a pioneer in green energy for over a decade. Mayor R. Rex 
Parris stated "our current energy alternatives are not enough to reach our 
goals. We see hydrogen as a viable solution that will reduce carbon emissions 
not only for our residents but everyone -- improving the air we breathe, 
providing secure and reliable energy, and creating skilled jobs within the 

This latest model of Mirai, which means "future" in Japanese, is built on the 
rear-wheel drive GA-L platform of the larger Lexus LS sedan. This allows for 
increased hydrogen storage, bringing the car's Environmental Protection 
Agency's (EPA)-estimated range to over 300, a 30 percent increase over the 
first-generation front-wheel drive Mirai. The fuel cell system has also been 
redesigned to offer more power delivered to the 20-inch alloy wheels.

As members of the California Fuel Cell Partnership, the City of Lancaster 
collaborates with partners on activities that advance the technology that is 
aimed at expanding the market for fuel cell electric vehicles powered by 
hydrogen to help create a cleaner, more energy-diverse future with 
no-compromise zero emission vehicles.

"The Mirai is proof that hydrogen works," said Heslin.  "It has a much longer 
range than any of the current electric vehicles (EVs), and takes only minutes 
to fill up compared to charging batteries, which can take hours. California 
currently has 45 hydrogen (H2) filling stations. That number will increase to 
100 in 2023, with plans to top 1,000 stations by 2030."

Hydrogen Evolution in Commercial Transport

"The Mirai showcase in Lancaster represents a considerable leap forward, in 
line with "the critical mission to decarbonize the planet quickly," Mayor R. 
Rex Parris said. "Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are an important zero 
emission technology. Unfortunately, they draw from the power grid, which relies 
largely on fossil fuels Increased adoption of large commercial electric 
vehicles for transporting goods and people, however, would require bigger 
lithium batteries ushering in a host of new environmental problems. The 
game-changing application for hydrogen is long haul and heavy-duty transport," 
Mayor Parris said. "Imagine self-driving, zero-emission trucks that can cross 
the country with only a few quick stops to refuel."

Hydrogen (H2) by contrast has a much higher energy density than energy stored 
in electric vehicle batteries. (H2) can be stored in vast quantities for long 
periods of time with on-demand retrieval capacity. The fuel also integrates 
into existing infrastructure like pipelines and power plants as an alternative 
to fossil-based natural gas.

"Hydrogen provides a doable solution to the challenge of decarbonization now," 
said Heslin, whose firm develops clean energy and infrastructure projects 
around the world, including an anaerobic digestion (AD) waste facility in the 
City of Lancaster. Heslin is also advising the city on the nation's first 
municipal hydrogen-powered microgrid providing hydrogen generation and storage 
for resiliency, energy management and cost savings. "Hydrogen is the next 
important fuel for the world and we'll be seeing a lot more of it soon. In 
Lancaster, it will be very soon."

SOURCE:  City of Lancaster

CONTACT: City of Lancaster, 661-723-6000