Top Gear James May sells his favourite car as hydrogen vehicles are ‘difficult to use’

James May's 2007 Top Gear Mercedes car is discovered by fan

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The former Top Gear presenter said the Mirai was one of the “nicest cars” he had ever owned but was ready to “move on” to something new. Mr May complained it was “very difficult” to use the car on a day to day basis due to a lack of hydrogen charging points in the country.

He added the UK was simply “behind” on hydrogen output, which makes owning a model hard to sustain.

Speaking to DriveTribe, he said: “This is my Toyota Mirai which in many ways I think is the nicest car I’ve ever owned.

“Not the most exciting – I want to be very clear about that, it only has 152 hp. But it is serene, it has an excellent ride. It’s polite. It’s just a very agreeable experience being in the car.

“But I have had it a while and I think cars are a little bit like fashion, you have to move on.

“There are other problems with it, to be honest. When I first had this car there were eight hydrogen stations in the whole of the UK.”

He added: “Even today there are only 11 hydrogen stations making it very difficult to use this as your only everyday car.

“It would be fine in Germany they’ve got hundreds of hydrogen stations, so have the Japanese. We haven’t, we are behind.

“Frankly I’m getting a bit old for that sort of thing so I have decided this will go.”

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Hydrogen fuel cells are an alternative to electric vehicles in the clean energy sector, emitting water instead of carbon emissions.

The models are often capable of longer ranges than electric cars but demand for the models has yet to take off.

There are only two hydrogen fuel cell cars available in the UK with the Toyota Mirai and Hyundai Nexo alone in the market.

Five of the UK’s hydrogen stations are located within the M25 while others are mostly positioned around service stations.

There are just two for the entirety of Wales and just one station in Scotland, located in Aberdeen,

Experts at Driving Electric have also warned a kilogramme of hydrogen costs around £10 per charge.

An average hydrogen tank is around five kilometres meaning drivers will pay around £50 to fill up their vehicle.

This means hydrogen technology isn’t much cheaper than traditional petrol and diesel costs while being more expensive than electric models.

Mr May hinted he had a replacement already lined up and promised to reveal his new purchase around April. 

He said: “I’m going to replace it with something altogether more exciting.”

Mr May is a fan of new technology and already owns a fully electric Telsa Model 3. 

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