The first hydrogen powered Toyota Mirai cars have arrived in the UK ahead of their official launch next month.

Toyota is billing the Mirai as the world’s first mass-produced fuel cell saloon, and is launching it in selected European markets – the UK, Germany and Denmark – where a hydrogen fuel supply and retail infrastructure is being developed.

The company says the limited number available in Britain this year have already been snapped up, principally by business and corporate customers.

Karl Schlicht, executive vice president Toyota Motor Europe, said: “This marks the debut of a new age for clean mobility, a turning point in the history of the automobile.

“With Mirai and its fuel cell technology, Toyota is working on delivering clean, safe and enjoyable mobility for the next 100 years. We are looking forward to the start of deliveries of the first Mirai to customers from September and to see the future taking shape on European roads.”

Hydrogen fuel is stored on board the Mirai in high pressure tanks and used to generate electricity in a chemical reaction with oxygen in a Toyota-designed fuel cell stack. The energy produced is used to drive the car, with the only tailpipe emissions being water vapour. Refuelling from empty takes between three and five minutes at the pumps and Mirai has a driving range similar to conventionally powered vehicles.