How would Bertha Benz feel when she embarks on the first Patent-Motorwagen gasoline-powered journey in 1888? She completely trusted her husband's technique. Her biggest idea was the supply of petrol.
.There were still no gas stations. The fuel was bought from pharmacies. 128 years later, there are about 14,500 filling stations in Germany. But only 16 of them offer hydrogen.
That is, the planning of my trip with the Toyota Mirai, the first model in the world to be developed entirely for fuel cell movement, will be defined by a rare network of charging stations.
Only in big cities like Hamburg and Berlin do I find 4 H2 stations. After loading, Mirai exhilarates me with its quiet movement. As if ghostly butane, the 145hp electric vehicle is fast and dynamic.
Easy can deliver on the 500 miles-Toyota promises, I traveled 400miles on a single charge, although I drove slowly at 70 miles / h. But at start, the tank was not full.
A problem I encountered at many gas stations: the automatic loading stopped even though the tank was not quite full at all. Only two installations were able to fully load the Mirai. Charging costs: about £40. Acceptable.
However, your wallet should be fairly complete: Mirai costs about £66 000.
Being a pioneer is not cheap at all.
HYDROGEN STATIONS IN GERMANY
Mirai proves that the fuel cell car works and is perfectly suited to everyday life. But while the network of public charging stations in Germany includes 16, most of which do not function, expensive alternative equipment will not break into the market. The H2 Mobility Company, subsidized by the Federal Ministry of Transport, is expected to build 400 H2 gas stations by 2023. But in order to provide sufficient hydrogen coverage, experts say a minimum of 1,000 gas guns are needed.