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Honey, I Shrunk the Fuel Cell: Toyota Makes Hydrogen-Powered RC Car

While the automotive world is slowly shifting toward an all-electric future, Toyota remains committed to hydrogen. And that’s a very good thing, but we could babble about it for numerous paragraphs. Instead, we’ll tell you that they have teamed up with Tamiya to create a tiny RC (radio-controlled) model that’s powered by hydrogen.
Toyota Mirai 18 photos
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For this, the two companies have used the toymaker’s TT02 chassis and a shrunken fuel cell, wrapping it up in a car shell that mirrors the looks of the real Mirai, albeit on a 1/10 scale. The new RC car can cover twice the distance of an equivalent battery-powered model, the Japanese automaker states, and even though it looks ready to hit the shelves, it is actually quite far from it.

We believe these adapted hydrogen-powered Tamiya cars are the first hydrogen fuel cell RC cars in the UK, and they mirror the way full-size vehicles will be powered in the future. It’s been great to see them in action at the model village (Old New Inn Model Village in Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire); they performed really well,” said Alistair Brebner from Tamiya UK. “While we are a long way off being able to offer a hydrogen powered RC car for purchase, this challenge has proved that a scaled down and adaptable version of H2 can be a superb energy platform for our cars.

Since we’ve briefly mentioned the range of the RC car, we will remind you that the real Toyota Mirai can cover up to 400 miles (644 km) on a full tank of hydrogen. Nonetheless, Toyota has actually managed to set a Guinness World Record for such vehicles earlier this year, with a second-generation Mirai that traveled for 845 miles (1,360 km) between refills. The auto firm thus broke the previous record set by Hyundai, which used a Nexo FCV to go from Melbourne, Australia, to the outback, running 551.5 miles (887.5 km).

Toyota is offering the 2021 Mirai in two trim levels, the XLE and Limited, in the United States. Pricing starts at $49,500 and $66,000 respectively, and both of them are offered with a no-cost maintenance plan and free 24-hour roadside assistance. The base variant has an EPA-rated range of 402 miles (647 km), and the more expensive option can travel for 357 miles (575 km) on a single tank of hydrogen.



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