With the climate crisis and sustainability taking center stage in the automotive industry, the race to find viable alternatives to fossil fuels is in full-swing. Automakers throughout the world are finding new, more eco-friendly ways to fuel their cars with everything from standard EV models, to hydrogen-powered cars, to even solar-powered cars. While hydrogen fuel cell cars are knocking on the door of becoming mainstream, the technology to research and develop them is expensive, thus making them less widely available. In an attempt to showcase the merits of hydrogen fuel cell technology, Toyota unveiled a small experiment to start a massive ambition.
The experiment came in the form of a miniaturized Toyota Mirai, the first hydrogen-fueled car the Japanese automaker released. To make the replica, Toyota enlisted the help of Bramble Energy, a UK company that specializes in the application of small-scale hydrogen fuel cells, and Tamiya, a model kit company. This Mini Mirai is a perfect 1:10 scaled replica of the commercially available Mirai and draws power from a bonafide (albeit tiny) hydrogen fuel cell. Everything about the Mini Mirai is to scale, including the manner in which it is outfitted with two interchangeable hydrogen fuel canisters. Bramble’s miniaturized printed circuit board fuel cell (PCBFC) system holds the canisters atop the 4-wheel-drive chassis of Tamiya’s TT-OC RC car, thus making a fully functioning hydrogen-fueled RC car. While the PCBFC is small, its power output is no joke, producing almost 20 Watts of power. That’s twice the capacity compared to your standard battery-powered RC car.
As an added layer of authenticity, Tamiya used the exact color of the Mirai, Scarlet Flare, when painting the mini version. Though the Mini Mirai is a cute experiment, it serves as an extension of Toyota’s commitment to increase their fuel cell production ten-fold to 30,000 units a year. Toyota has not revealed whether or not they will sell the Mini Mirai, but the big ones start at $49,500.