Toyota Mirai 'Fueled By BS': Crafty Or Crappy?

April 30, 2015

Ah, the Toyota Mirai. Its origins are polarizing, its looks could start a bar fight, and last week, the automaker that ended its partnership with Tesla to build this hydrogen fuel cell vehicle proposed that the Mirai could run on on bullsh*t. (Literally, that's the title of Toyota's promo video, embedded above.)

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Sure, it's a tongue-in-cheek clip, but we have to wonder if Toyota might've forgotten to mention something.

On the one hand, as our colleagues at Green Car Reports point out, the video shows that Toyota has a sense of humor. The title is a direct reference to a comment that Tesla's outspoken CEO, Elon Musk, made in reference to the Mirai and other fuel cell vehicles. (Executive summary: Musk isn't a fan.)

And so, someone at Toyota got the bright idea to show Musk that he wasn't too far off the mark: the Mirai may not be BS (at least not in Japan), but it can certainly run on the stuff.

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On the other hand, as one commenter pointed out, livestock farming -- specifically, cattle farming -- is a major source of greenhouse gases. So, while it's nice to note that the Mirai can make use of cow crap to get from Point A to Point B, it's a little ironic that Toyota chose such a controversial fuel source without at least mentioning the issue. After all, one of the reasons that Toyota is developing the Mirai is to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

You can't help but blanch thinking about the logical conclusion of Toyota's argument. Using manure to fuel thousands of Mirais would require substantially more cattle farming and, thus, substantially more emissions. Would that be offset by a reduction in fossil fuel extraction and refining? We'll let the experts weigh in.

Are we taking Toyota's joke too literally? We think we already know the answer to that. 


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