Categories: Environment

Toyota Hilux: a hydrogen-powered prototype

The Japanese manufacturer unveils a prototype electric Toyota Hilux, powered by a hydrogen fuel cell.

For some years, Toyota bets on hydrogen: after the marketing of the Mirai, a sedan equipped with a fuel cell, it is even rumored that the Japanese manufacturer is working on a new hydrogen car much more accessible than this.

The Toyota boss does not hide the brand’s ambitions in this regard: Koji Sato believes that hydrogen will be the cornerstone of the future of the world’s leading car manufacturer. While the spotlight is on the Munich show, Toyota has just unveiled a prototype electric Hilux powered by a hydrogen fuel cell.

Toyota Hilux hydrogen: more than 600 km of autonomy

This zero-emission pick-up prototype was unveiled at the Toyota Manufacturing UK (TMUK) industrial site in Derby, England. The Toyota Hilux Hydrogen project was developed with consortium partners (Ricardo, ETL, D2H Advanced Technologies and Thatcham Research), and is supported by a UK government funding and by Toyota Motor Corporation.

High pressure hydrogen is stored in three tanks located in the chassis, and makes it possible to offer autonomy of more than 600 km, which is a real advantage over a conventional electric vehicle battery. A hybrid battery stores the electricity produced by the fuel cell, and is placed on the rear deck, in order to limit the loss of space in the passenger compartment.

The electric motorization and its hydrogen fuel cell use elements from the Toyota Mirai organ bankwhich has been on the market for almost 10 years.

An important British project

The project for this hydrogen-powered Toyota Hilux prototype began at the beginning of 2022, before going into production in June 2023, in a dedicated area within the facilities of Toyota’s English plant. In total, one dozen prototypes will see the light of day by the end of 2023, and they will undergo extensive safety, functional and performance tests, in order to test their compliance with the requirements of series production.

Toyota, however, has not confirmed if a hydrogen Hilux will be well marketed in its range, but specifies that this project has enabled TMUK employees to develop and apply new skills around fuel cell vehicles, and components of hydrogen systems.

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