James May, an intrepid automotive journalist and co-host of The Grand Tour, provided DriveTribe subscribers with a Christmas Day present – a review of two of his cars, the Tesla Model S 100D and Toyota Mirai. “Hello, viewers,” May says in the video’s opening. “Here are two electric cars. One of them may be the future. Or it could be both of them. Or it may be neither of them.” May owns both, and throughout the video he reviews them, weighing their pros and cons before debating with himself about which has a brighter future ahead.
May points out the Tesla’s quick performance, thanks to the pair of electric motors, its large touchscreen interface, and its lack of tactile buttons. The Mirai is much more traditional, with the instrument cluster pushed to the back of the dash near the base of the windscreen. The Toyota lacks the oomph of the Model S – 152 bhp (113 kilowatts) compared to 400-plus bhp (298-plus kW) – but he does compare the Mirai’s ride to the that of a Bentley Continental GT, so, way to go Toyota.
May also compared the refuelling/recharging process. The Tesla is cheaper to recharge than the Toyota, but it does take more time. The Mirai works much like a traditional petrol-powered automobile with fuelling stations, a nozzle, and about two minutes of someone’s time.
The review concludes with may debating himself on which one is better. Hydrogen is expensive to produce, it can leak from storage tanks, and the infrastructure is lacking, among other issues. Electric vehicles are heavy, need precious rare earth metals for their construction, and pose challenges for people who may not have access to an at-home charger. Electric vehicles are the future, it just may be one where battery electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles live side by side.