At the German Centre Of Automotive Management (CAM) in Cologne, automotive innovations of the last decade were compared to select the 100 most disruptive out of 8000. Fuel cell vehicles topped the final list, with the Toyota Mirai ranked highest.
The honors given to the Mirai comes just weeks before the first European customers will be taking delivery of the hydrogen-powered sedan - it will be reaching owners in Germany, Denmark and the UK.
To plot out this ranking, Professor Dr. Stefan Bratzel led the CAM team to closely examine thousands of innovations within the last 10 years, 2005 to 2015. These innovations were then rated according to their market and industry relevance.
The Mirai emerged as the winner, being the first mass-produced fuel cell sedan to become available to the public. The Hydrogen stored within the Mirai is transformed in the fuel cell stack into electricity used to power the 155hp electric motor. When running, Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCVs) like the Mirai do not emit any pollutants into the atmosphere whatsoever, and the only by-product is water vapour.
In addition to the obvious environmental benefits, they are as easy to use as conventional cars and are able to go on long trips on a tank full of hydrogen which, much like normal cars, only needs a few minutes to refill at a station.
A third-place title holder of the CAM survey was another first-of-its-kind vehicle – also made by Toyota, incidentally: the Prius Plug-in Hybrid. It’s the first mass-produced plug-in car that can be charged using a standard household socket. With its electric motor and efficient petrol engine working in tandem, the Prius delivers class-leading fuel economy and C02 emissions figures.