When a car manufacturer announces they set a record, it’s easy to think it’s a top speed run or a lap time. Of course, there are other things to chase aside from speed or time records. Some of it are much more achievable, such as economy run records.
Over the years, many have taken on the one tank record. Most of the time, it’s with a car powered by an internal combustion engine. However, there is one record that hasn’t been tapped yet. It’s the record for the longest distance by a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle without refueling. Leave it to Toyota to go straight for that open goal.
Toyota is, of course, still pushing their hydrogen initiative, and they’re still very vocal about it. Obviously, the car they chose for this record attempt is none other than the recently redesigned Mirai. It was driven Wayne Gerdes with Bob Winger as his co-pilot.
If those names sound familiar, the duo are known for setting fuel efficiency records in the U.S. The last time the two got together, they got the record for, in words of Guinness World Records, the lowest fuel consumption – 48 U.S. contiguous States for a non-hybrid car.
Gerdes and Winger are also one of the top hypermilers in the U.S. However, they didn’t make this attempt easy just by driving on freeways and interstates in the wee hours of the morning. The pair drove through morning and afternoon rush hour traffic around San Diego. They also drove up and down the Pacific Coast Highway for good measure.
After two days of careful and calculated driving, Gerdes and Winger managed to eke out 845 miles out of the Mirai. This was confirmed by the Guinness World Records. The total consumption was 5.65 kilograms of hydrogen and 152 MPGe. That’s double the EPA claim of up to 76 MPGe for the XLE version. Will it be enough for people to go towards hydrogen power instead of electric? That’s still uncertain. At least range anxiety is less of a worry given its potential.