How Do Hydrogen Cars Work?

Toyota Mirai
The Toyota Mirai at the 2014 North American International Auto Show

Hydrogen is the smallest and most plentiful element in the universe. Even though it isn’t the most abundant gas in the Earth’s atmosphere, it can be found in a variety of places. It is because of this abundance that makes hydrogen-powered vehicles an appealing form of transportation. Hydrogen vehicles, such as the new Toyota Mirai, bring up the very important question: How do hydrogen cars work?

Hydrogen is naturally highly reactive and combines with almost anything, so hydrogen vehicles have the capability of extracting pure hydrogen from specific chemical compounds. This can be done in a number of ways. Once the hydrogen is extracted, it enters fuel tanks within the Mirai.

After the hydrogen is stored in tanks inside the car, it travels to the fuel cell stack, where it mingles with air coming in from the other directions, causing a chemical reaction between the hydrogen and oxygen in the air. This generates electricity, which is sent to the motor when you press on the gas pedal.

From an environmental standpoint, the best part of this is that the only exhaust product of this is plain old water, which leaves the engine through the tailpipe.

While the Toyota Mirai is not available at Haddad Toyota, you can check out our selection of Green Toyota Cars here!

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