Enterprise Rent-A-Car has taken delivery of 17 Toyota hydrogen fuel cell electric cars as part of a number of initiatives to explore alternative fuels to deliver low and zero-emission transport.

The Toyota Mirai saloons will be used in a pilot programme by existing corporate customers in different parts of the country, by Enterprise Car Club members and by Enterprise employees.

Enterprise works closely with manufacturers to explore how emerging technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells can be deployed in real world scenarios. Enterprise continues to introduce electric vehicles through its rental fleet, and especially as part of the Enterprise Car Club.

The fuel cell on board the Toyota Mirai uses hydrogen to make electricity to power its motor. The car can be refuelled at a hydrogen pump in the same way as a petrol or diesel vehicle, in just three minutes. Mirai creates zero harmful emissions, producing only pure water from the fuel cell process. It has a driving range of around 300 miles on a tank of hydrogen fuel.

Iain Macbeth, Enterprise European Partnerships and Innovation Strategy Director, said: “Our goal is to use this fleet of hydrogen vehicles to examine the potential for the technology in practical working environments. We want to see what role hydrogen vehicles might play in the future advancement of sustainable mobility, to reduce emissions and to help cities, communities and businesses to achieve their air quality goals.

“We operate with the next generation in mind. This underlines our decision to explore emerging technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells, so we can understand the impact they can have in real-world situations and can gather feedback from users.”

Jon Hunt, Toyota GB Manager Alternative Fuels, commented: “We’ll be very interested to see the results of Enterprise’s pilot study into the use of hydrogen fuelled Mirai cars for its fleet. This is another example of commercial companies exploring the potential of these zero emission cars as we progress towards a hydrogen society.