How Does the Toyota Mirai’s Engine Work?

Toyota Mirai’s EngineMost drivers are used to gas-powered cars and are just beginning to understand the science behind hybrid models. This means that the Toyota Mirai can be particularly confusing for people without a science or automotive background. It is important to understand this hydrogen fuel source, however, as the cars of the future may be powered by this or a similar option that also produces zero emissions.

The Basics of Hydrogen Fuel Cells

The Toyota Mirai’s engine relies on hydrogen, and it is known as a fuel cell vehicle. Hydrogen has been used to generate power since the early 19th century, but it wasn’t until recently that engineers and other experts began seeing the advantages of this fuel source to power a car. The fuel cell works to convert the hydrogen in the fuel tanks to electricity while creating only two byproducts: water and heat. This means that hydrogen doesn’t pollute at all, except during the production of the gas.

Producing the Energy

To understand how this hydrogen reaction produces electricity, you need to know some basic chemistry. Every hydrogen atom has a single proton and a single electron. To generate electricity, the fuel cell will strip away the electrons, separating them from the protons. These electrons are then used to create pure electricity. The remaining hydrogen atoms are now ionized and they react with oxygen from the air to create water as well as heat. That combination means that you will see steam as the only byproduct from the Mirai.

To learn more about the Toyota Mirai or its future availability, talk to the team at Warrenton Toyota in Warrenton, Virginia.

August 9, 2015
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