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article imageToyota's hydrogen fuel cell Marai debuts in Quebec this year

By Karen Graham     Jan 19, 2018 in Technology
Quebec - The Quebec government is purchasing a fleet of 50 Toyota Marai hydrogen fuel cell vehicles — the first such vehicles in Canada, which Toyota expects to deliver to the province later this year.
As Toyota kicked off its participation in the Montréal International Auto Show which started today at Montreal's Palais des congrès and will go through Sunday, January 28, they took the time to announce the Toyota Mirai, powered by hydrogen fuel cell electric powertrain technology, is coming to Canada this year.
About 50 of the hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are expected to be delivered to Quebec this year to be used by government and private fleets, according to CTV News Canada. Quebec Energy Minister Pierre Moreau says Quebec is the ideal location because of the cheap, clean hydroelectricity that is available to produce liquid hydrogen.
The Toyota Marai  a hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicle.
The Toyota Marai, a hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicle.
Toyota
"Quebec is well positioned to become a world leader in terms of energy transition," Moreau said Thursday. "This challenge cannot be solved alone; it's by building strategic partnerships with companies like Toyota."
The big selling point for the Marai is that it can go 500 kilometers on a single tank, and unlike an electric car, it only takes about five minutes to charge. And another plus is its reliability, even in the coldest conditions.
But the Marai does not come cheap. In California, the vehicle costs $57,000 US, minus rebates. Toyota Canada has not said what the Marai will go for in Canada when it is available to the public.
Big drawback to hydrogen cell technology
It is probably a good idea that Toyota is not selling the Marai to the public, just yet. That's because there are only two hydrogen fueling stations in the province, one on the South Shore and the other in Trois-Rivières, and both of them are private.
A Toyota Prius
A Toyota Prius
Steve Jurvetson
However, the province plans to open two more hydrogen fueling stations, one in Montreal and another in Quebec City, as well as test the vehicles as part of a pilot project. "Working closely with the Québec government and key stakeholders, we feel the time is right to put Mirai on the road in the province," said Martin Gilbert, spokesperson for Toyota Canada.
The Mirai's introduction follows the successful market launch of the Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid vehicle. The company launched a real-world market trial of Prius Prime in Québec in mid-2017, and this was so successful that Toyota is set to expand the market to the rest of Canada this year.
More about Toyota, Canada, hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, Infrastructure, Pilot project