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Most Innovative Companies

Toyota

When Japanese carmaker Toyota unveiled its Prius, the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle, the world was skeptical. But after turning more than 6 million customers into hybrid converts, Toyota got the last laugh. Now the world's largest car manufacturer is taking all it learned building the Prius and trying to do the same thing with hydrogen. Last October, it released the Mirai, the first mass-market vehicle to run off hydrogen. The car can go farther and refuel faster than any electric vehicle, and its only emission is water. Yes, competitors are offering hydrogen fuel cell cars on a limited basis, but the Mirai is the first to be really commercially available on the mass market. To speed the development of other hydrogen applications, Toyota gave competitors royalty free access to 5,680 of its fuel cell patents. The company has already sold several hundred Mirais and plans to sell 1,000 by the end of this year, but the challenge will be in building the infrastructure to go along with them. Right now only a handful of hydrogen fuel stations exist. To address this, Toyota has partnered with several companies to develop a network of stations on the East Coast and build 46 additional stations in California this year.
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