City of Long Beach to Test One of the First Commercially-Available Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles


Photo courtesy of the City of Long Beach.

The City of Long Beach recently acquired one of the first commercially-available Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCV), a Toyota Mirai that runs exclusively on hydrogen and only emits water vapor as exhaust. Mirai means “future” in Japanese.

The Mirai is the most fuel-efficient hydrogen FCV rated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), due to its approximately 300-mile range and combined city and highway fuel economy rating of 66 MPG, according to the release.

“As a leader in making cities more sustainable, we’re proud to implement new technology that reduces our impact on the environment,” stated Mayor Robert Garcia.

The Mirai will be tested for six months as part of the City’s Motor Pool to determine its practicality for further use. After the pilot, the Mirai will be placed in several departments for more testing and to generate more feedback.

At low speeds the vehicle runs like an all-electric car by using battery-stored energy, charged through regenerative braking. At higher speeds, the hydrogen fuel cell powers the electric motor while it converts hydrogen to electricity, according to the city.

The Mirai takes a mere five minutes to refuel at the hydrogen station at 3401 Long Beach Boulevard, which is open to the public.

The City of Long Beach recently converted its diesel and natural gas vehicles (more than 18 percent of its total vehicle fleet) to renewable fuels. By using renewable diesel and renewable liquid natural gas (RNG), the city expects to reduce carbon emissions by more than 6,000 tons per year.

The city’s fleet was recognized as one of the Top 50 Government Fleets in North America for 2015 and 2016, and was ranked the No. 1 North American Government Green Fleet in 2008, according to the release.

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Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist.