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The Future of Mirai in Thailand

Thanks to the spike of electricity bills in the last summer, Thai people suddenly had a moment of truth: not all sources of energy are created equal, and that most energy is non-renewable. What has followed is an increased interest in electric vehicles (EV).

However, the transition from combustion engine vehicles to all EVs has been quite slow so far because there is an alternative energy available. This is based on their belief that EVs may not be the only answer to energy and environmental sustainability.

Take Toyota Mirai (meaning ‘future’ in Japanese), for example, a fuel-cell vehicle (FCV) concept car, which they promoted as a superior energy choice of the future. It was later released in 2015 and could run up to 500 kilometers before refueling which made it comparable to EVs available at that time. Mirai Gen 2 was released at the end of last year, with 12% increased power and mileage of almost 800 kilometers. It’s been eight years and the car is still in a humdrum state.

Although there’s virtually no difference in terms of convenience and power saving, Mirai still has a hard time winning the consumers over due to accessibility problem to a charging station. Currently, Mirai’s market is only in Japan and the US. Lack of collaborative partnership for infrastructure development is also another reason.

In a bid to solve the problem, Toyota has recently teamed up with Thailand’s CP Group with an aim to achieve carbon neutrality through a research on production of biogas from wastes derived from animal farms. The company has also jointly launched Thailand’s first hydrogen refueling prototype station with PTT Oil and Retail Business Plc in eastern province of Chonburi. Here, Mirai will be demonstrated as a limousine service between U-Tapao International Airpot and Pattaya. Technical data on the car’s performance will later be used future for improvements.

So there is a future for with Mirai. Given the hydrogen fuel cell technology as one the most promising alternative energy sources, it’s only a matter of time before Mirai takes off in Thailand and the rest of the world.