Toyota Hydrogen Fuel Cell Hilux Enters Final Phase

Toyota Hydrogen Fuel Cell Hilux Enters Final Phase – Toyota’s innovative endeavor to bring forth a hydrogen fuel cell-powered Hilux pick-up has now progressed into its final phase, marking a significant step towards Toyota’s commitment to a sustainable, zero-carbon future.

Since the debut of the initial prototype in September 2023, Toyota, along with its consortium partners and backed by UK Government funding, has transitioned into an intensive evaluation and demonstration phase. This latest development underscores Toyota’s multifaceted approach to carbon neutrality, embracing various powertrain solutions tailored to diverse user needs and local infrastructure, including hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric, battery electric, fuel cell electric, and e-fuels.

At the forefront of this initiative are 10 fuel cell Hilux prototypes manufactured at Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK (TMUK) facility in Derby, England. While five vehicles undergo rigorous field testing to evaluate safety, performance, functionality, and durability in real-world scenarios, the remaining five units engage in customer and media demonstrations, including the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024. Through these engagements, Toyota aims to pave the way for a hydrogen-powered transportation sector.

Leveraging over 30 years of research and development in hydrogen fuel cells, insights gained from the Hilux project are poised to contribute to the advancement of fuel cell technology, promising longer lifecycles, extended driving ranges, and cost reductions.

Anticipating Europe’s emergence as a major hydrogen fuel cell market by 2030, Toyota Motor Europe (TME) unveiled the Hydrogen Factory Europe in December 2023, embodying a holistic approach to the commercialization of hydrogen technology from development to sales and aftersales support.

The fuel cell Hilux prototype project serves as a crucial step towards furthering hydrogen technology and catalyzing the expansion of hydrogen ecosystems and infrastructure across Europe.

Vehicle Profile:

Rooted in the legendary Toyota Hilux’s legacy of Quality, Durability, and Reliability (QDR), the hydrogen fuel cell prototype Toyota Hilux demonstrates the seamless integration of fuel cell technology into a pick-up. Retaining the iconic rugged appearance of the Hilux, the fuel cell variant boasts similar dimensions while pioneering advanced fuel cell technology underneath the surface.

Powering the vehicle are core elements derived from the Toyota Mirai, a testament to Toyota’s decade-long expertise in hydrogen fuel cell production. With an expected driving range of up to 600 km, the fuel cell Hilux surpasses conventional battery electric systems, offering enhanced payload and towing capabilities owing to hydrogen’s lightweight properties.

The fuel cell stack, housing 330 cells, is strategically positioned above the front axle, delivering rear-wheel drive via an e-motor on the rear axle. Emitting only pure water during operation, the fuel cell Hilux exemplifies Toyota’s commitment to eco-friendly mobility solutions.

Project Overview:

Initiated with a feasibility study in early 2022, the hydrogen fuel cell Hilux project has made rapid strides towards its culmination. Supported by the UK Government and consortium partners, Toyota’s intensive design and development phase paved the way for prototype construction, adhering to Toyota Production System principles for efficiency and quality.

Hydrogen Solutions:

With over two decades of experience in hydrogen fuel cell development, Toyota continues to spearhead initiatives aimed at fostering sustainable mobility solutions across diverse applications. Collaborations with partners across Europe, spanning from hydrogen-powered trucks to marine fuel cell systems, underscore Toyota’s dedication to driving innovation in the hydrogen ecosystem.

Toyota’s relentless pursuit of hydrogen fuel cell advancements encompasses the development of third-generation fuel cell technology, poised to deliver higher power density and extended driving ranges by 2026-27. With a steadfast focus on scalability and cost reduction, Toyota remains at the forefront of ushering in a hydrogen-powered future.