The City of West Hollywood has taken delivery of its first hydrogen vehicle. The city is adding a Toyota Mirai zero emission fuel cell electric vehicle to its fleet. It will be in service for a demonstration period, which began on Wednesday and continues through Dec. 13. The Mirai has been provided to the City of West Hollywood by Toyota in an aim to raise awareness about this new environmentally conscious automotive technology.
“Among the City of West Hollywood’s most important core values is responsibility for the environment,” said Mayor Lauren Meister. “And, if that happens to come in a fun-to-drive package — well, that’s even better. Adding this hydrogen car to our pool of city vehicles for testing will give us the opportunity to assess whether we can incorporate hydrogen cars into our permanent fleet and build on our current efforts to reduce our impact on the environment.”
According to Toyota, Mirai means “future” in Japanese. It operates much like a Toyota Prius, with the same shifting mechanism and touch-screen controls. The Mirai works by mixing hydrogen with oxygen from the air in its fuel cell stack. The reaction creates electricity to power the vehicle. The only resulting tailpipe by-product is water. It offers an EPA-estimated 67 miles per gallon equivalent city/highway/combined and an EPA-estimated driving range rating of 312 miles on a single fill of hydrogen.
Refueling is a bit different from traditional gasoline-powered vehicles; instructions are provided at any hydrogen fueling station. The nearest stations open to the public are located in Los Angeles at 7751 Beverly Blvd. (near Fairfax Avenue) and 5700 Hollywood Blvd. (near Western Avenue). The Mirai features an on-board hydrogen station locator.
West Hollywood’s current vehicle fleet features a range of hybrids, including Toyota Prius and Ford Escape vehicles. The inclusion of hybrid cars in the vehicle pool is part of the city’s larger “Go Green” initiative, which is aimed at advancing and promoting principles of sustainability and environmentalism.