Just received invitation to test drive Mirai

Discussion in 'Fuel Cell Vehicles' started by lensovet, Jun 12, 2016.

  1. lensovet

    lensovet Not your typical youngin :)/BP Brigade 207

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    "You're invited for your personal test drive"

    The Turning Point

    with a custom reservation code

    Also saw my first Mirai out on the road in NorCal. Was actually kind of weird because the car was dumping water just as it was passing by, which didn't make for a very pretty sight.
     
  2. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Don't feel too bad for the car. I've had to do that myself .... one too many Pepsi's

    .
     
  3. lensovet

    lensovet Not your typical youngin :)/BP Brigade 207

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    Registered for 1 pm on Sunday the 26th at the San Jose tech museum downtown
     
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  4. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Is there even a hydrogen station near by ?!? We're not too far from one but they never so much as sent us an email.
    .
     
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    good luck with that.:cool:
     
  6. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    I would love to hear what your thoughts were while you were doing the test drive.
     
  7. lensovet

    lensovet Not your typical youngin :)/BP Brigade 207

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    There must obviously he one since I saw one driving on 101 going toward SF two days ago.

    The site says the test drive is 30 miles long. That's pretty long for a test drive.
     
  8. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Pick the wrong road that could take 2 hours. I'm guessing you are going down 280 toward palo alto, it probably will be a pleasant drive.
     
  9. lensovet

    lensovet Not your typical youngin :)/BP Brigade 207

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    So I finally did this today. I actually missed the San Jose event, as I had just come back from a weeklong camping trip the night before and just failed to get out of bed in time.

    They nicely called me and said that since I missed it if I was interested in coming to another event they were holding in a few weeks. I said sure, and that event was today. It was held at AutoVino - Home, a pretty interesting venue. The test drives here were quite short, I would say 2-3 miles at best. I got lucky, said I wanted to drive first which meant I was actually going on the faster roads.

    First of all the car is insanely loud for an electric vehicle. I have no idea if it's the motor or the stack, but when you floor it, it whirrs like crazy. Completely unusual experience for me after driving a fully-electric vehicle for over a year. Some other tidbits from the event:

    • in the presentation they gave they said the car produces 1/3 cup of water per mile
    • the maps in the slides showed all fuel stations, including "upcoming" ones that weren't open yet. in the south bay at the moment the only stations that are open are in san jose, campbell, and saratoga. so for me it would mean driving at least 20 miles roundtrip, about half an hour, to refill. out in the room they had more accurate maps that showed that the stations in mountain view and palo alto were coming but not open yet.
    • the slides also mentioned that you can get $5k of CVRP rebates even though at the moment there are no funds.
    • trunk was surprisingly roomy, though of course no pass-through
    • center armrest storage is nonexistent. plenty in the back seat though.
    • they had a static display car on the floor and the trunk/fuel release buttons somehow ended up jammed. after some pushing, shoving, and knocking on panels nearby, i was able to dislodge them, but that seemed pretty weird for a 60k handbuilt car to have issues like this.
    • the battery gauge in the dash near the speedometer is more prominent than the fuel gauge showing the hydrogen level. seems pretty weird for a car in which the battery serves virtually no purpose.
    • the touch screen is nice but after using a knob-based controller for a year i have to say that i don't think touch screens really belong in cars. the only exception might be for text entry in directions, etc, but that's not the common use case (for me anyway) and optimizing for quick switching between screens, input sources, etc, in a safe way seems much more important to me.
     
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  10. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    I didn't go to this event (nor driven a Mirai) since I didn't really want to spend the time on a car where it's highly unlikely I will lease or buy... But, I have driven a few hydrogen FCEVs before, well before Mirai was announced at Alt Car Expo in Santa Monica, several years ago. They included FCEVs Honda FCX Clarity, Mercedes B-Class FCV, Nissan X-Trail FCV, Toyota Highlander FCV and a Kia (probably not Hyundai) SUV FCV.

    I recall some of them do make loud whirring sounds when floored. The ride along person said it was the pumps.

    As for CVRP and being out of funds... someone else I know (not well but he's on the BMW ActiveE FB group) went to the same venue that you did and mentioned that the event was staffed by a public relations firm. He said essentially that his "guess" (for lack of a better word) is that to be an employee, you had to qualified for to be to be on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. :p Darn! I should've gone then. :( It sounded like the knowledge level of these folks weren't that high since they gave him misinformation like the battery being 30 kWh! No way!

    As for jammed panels or whatever... that's nothing compared to the much more expensive Tesla Model X w/all sorts of fit and finish problems besides problems w/both the front doors and falcon wing doors (e.g. won't stay shut or won't open).

    As for battery... well, AFAIK, they're used as a buffer and at minimum to a place regen into.

    There is a hydrogen fueling station just down the street from my work. I've seen a Mirai there fueling when I passed but I was with someone and couldn't stop to watch or talk to the driver.
     
    #10 cwerdna, Jul 10, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2016
  11. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    There is a compressor for the air supply to the stack. Hyundai managed to do away with it for the Santa Fe FCEV.
    But this is a Toyota.
     
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  12. lensovet

    lensovet Not your typical youngin :)/BP Brigade 207

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    Yes, there was a certain…look to the women that staffed the venue. However there were definitely guys there too and the guy who sat with us in the car during the test drive was a Camry owner who said he was already in the middle of the qualification process for the Mirai. So…not entirely sure what the makeup there was.

    Regarding the battery, I know what it's used for, it's just like the Prius. Just seemed ironic for a company hell-bent on pushing FCVs over EVs that they would make it so prominent when as far as the operation of the vehicle is concerned it's basically useless info.
     
  13. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    While it was on the MFD, the battery gauge was more obvious than the fuel gauge in the gen2. Don't have any driver seat time in the newer Toyota hybrids, but I say this could simply be a case of reusing the dash design from them.
     
  14. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    The Mirai is a FCEV not a FCV. All it needs is a plug and a larger battery to make sense/cents. Use clean/locally produced electricity for the majority of day to day driving and H2 for trips. (y) But that's more complexity and costs added to an all ready expensive and complex vehicle.
     
  15. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    FCV and FCEV are synonyms.

    The presence of a battery or not isn't what makes a fuel cell car an electric one. It is because their drive train is electric, just like any EV's. The fuel cell itself isn't that different from a battery in basic principles either. Both have an anode, cathode, and electrolyte, and they both produce electricity through a chemical reaction. We won't see a commercial FCEV without a battery for the same reason we done have cars powered by Sterling engines; the power out ramp up and down is too slow to meet modern driving needs.

    A plug in FCEV could aid the adoption of hydrogen FCEVs by decreasing the burden of saturated expansion of the infrastructure. Without a plug, you need enough hydrogen stations to make it convenient for the early adopters. Which means more than what can support themselves economically. With a plug, less stations are needed. In addition to cost, space needs to be found for the larger battery. The hydrogen tanks already take up a fair amount of real estate.
     
  16. lensovet

    lensovet Not your typical youngin :)/BP Brigade 207

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    yeah the thing is there's an MFD-like display in the dash too in addition to this (similar to what we have in the prius today with the energy flow). so you can actually set it up to show you two batteries! lol.
     
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