It was interesting to see how much of a splash hydrogen made at this week's Los Angeles Motor Show

This really seemed like the event where the technology entered the mainstream, with Audi and VW both announcing projects and Toyota revealing the production version and name of its hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, the Mirai.

I drove a test mule of this car a few weeks ago in Belgium and found it deeply impressive. It's not going to appeal to driving enthusiasts, but the Mirai does feel a step beyond plug-in hybrids and Toyota's own Prius.

It's odd, in fact; because the cabin environment isn't a million miles away from the Prius, you half-expect a petrol motor to kick in as you accelerate. Except that never happens; there's a faint gurgle from somewhere in the system as the fuel cell 'stack' reacts to you prodding the throttle, and then there's just the usual surge of acceleration that you get from an electric vehicle. 

Except (again) the Mirai doesn't suffer from traditional EV range problems; if you need to refuel it you simply pull into a suitably-equipped filling station and fill it up. It should take three minutes, Toyota says - or about the same as a conventionally powered vehicle.