Toyota Is De-Volkswagenifying the Air in California

Tyler Wooley
by Tyler Wooley
toyota is de volkswagenifying the air in california

Toyota is teaming up with Clear Channel Outdoor Americas to help clean California’s air with a billboard advertising its hydrogen-powered Mirai fuel cell sedan.

From April 3 to May 28, a total of 37 billboards in Los Angeles and San Francisco will filter smoggy air, thanks to the titanium dioxide-coated vinyl used in the sign.

While Toyota missed an opportunity to explicitly rub salt in a certain rival’s wounds, this is nonetheless a pleasant change of scenery in the automotive world, especially considering all of the [s]Volkswagen[/s] emissions scandals of the past couple of years.

According to Toyota, the billboards will create nearly 25,000 square feet of pollution-purifying power and “reverse the equivalent of 5,285 vehicles worth of nitrogen dioxide emissions per month.” Nitrogen dioxide, you say? Hmm. What automaker just paid 20-plus billion dollars for belching out too much of that stuff?

“Toyota consistently searches for new environmental technologies across all operations,” said Mark Angelacos, Advanced Technology General Manager of Toyota North America, in a press release. “When Clear Channel Outdoor Americas brought us the opportunity, we saw it as a perfect match. This new campaign delivers Toyota Mirai’s ‘vehicle of change’ message on a medium that lives up to that promise.”

The billboards’ coating was developed by PURETi Group, LLC, and Clear Channel Outdoor Americas holds exclusive rights to the technology.

While Californians can breathe easier, Toyota can’t. There’s now a direct rival to the Mirai in the Golden State, offered to eco-conscious consumers by Toyota’s main Japanese rival, Honda.

[Image: Toyota North America]

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11 of 36 comments
  • Cactuar Cactuar on Mar 23, 2017

    It's refreshing to see an ad that actually highlights the features on the car, instead of promising to fix your marriage and make you more attractive!

  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Mar 23, 2017

    Good, so we don't have to scrap those TDIs now?

  • Andyinatl Andyinatl on Mar 24, 2017

    There’s now a direct rival to the Mirai in the Golden State, offered to eco-conscious consumers by Toyota’s main Japanese rival, Honda. The above is incorrect. Not to pick nits, but Honda had FCX Clarity in California for many many years available for public lease, so Toyota finally caught on. And while i love the idea, but why, oh why do both of these have to be so ugly? Why not make them look like normal cars so regular people could buy them. The new Prius is so ugly that while i love the fuel economy, i can't imagine being seen in anything that hideous. Ioniq can't start selling fast enough...

    • See 1 previous
    • Madanthony Madanthony on Mar 24, 2017

      Part of the reason people buy hybrids and electric cars is because they want other people to know that they drive a hybrid or electric car. Thus the success of the later Prius and Tesla and the lack of success of the Civic Hybrid and the original Prius, which didn't signal anything.

  • Shaker Shaker on Mar 24, 2017

    I still think that Big Oil is involved in this somehow, because the resulting H2 distribution model (and the fact that it's more eco-nomical [the only "eco" that Big Oil cares about]) fits right into their "you'll come crawling to us for your freedom" position of ownership. Plugs in people's garages are a nightmare for Big Oil. Solar panels make them cry in their sleep - let's keep it up.

    • See 2 previous
    • Shaker Shaker on Mar 24, 2017

      @aajax Well, all energy comes from the sun, too. But some forms cause much more pollution and human misery (while a few profit from their extraction) than others. So, I propose that we start moving towards the cleaner stuff.