Toyota Plans to Develop Hydrogen Fuel Cell Light Trucks

Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car photographed in Berlin, Germany in August 2021. The Japanese automotive giant began developing fuel cell vehicles back in 1992.

Christian Bochi | Bloomberg | Getty Images

car giant Toyotaalong with three other partners, will work on the development of light fuel cell electric trucks with a view to launching them in Japan next year.

In a statement on Tuesday, Toyota said it would work with Isuzu, Hino Motors and Commercial Japan Partnership Technologies Corporation on the project. Both Isuzu and Hino posted the same statement on their websites as Toyota.

One potential use case for fuel cell vehicles could be in the supermarket and convenience store sector, where, according to Toyota, light trucks are “needed to travel long distances for extended periods of time to complete multiple delivery operations in a single day.”

The company has also listed fast refueling as a requirement for vehicles operating in this segment.

“The use of FC [fuel cell] the technology, which runs on high energy density hydrogen and has zero CO2 emissions while driving, is considered effective in these operating conditions,” the company added.

Market entry is slated for January 2023, when fuel cell light trucks will be used at distribution sites in Fukushima Prefecture and other projects in Tokyo, according to the company.

Hino Motors is part of the Toyota Group and CJPT was created by Isuzu, Toyota and Hino in 2021.

Toyota began working on fuel cell vehicles, where hydrogen from a tank is mixed with oxygen to produce electricity, back in 1992.

In 2014, the company launched the Mirai, a hydrogen fuel cell sedan. The business says its fuel cell vehicles emit “nothing but water from the tailpipe.”

Along with the Mirai, Toyota had a hand in the development of larger hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. These include a bus called Sora and prototype heavy vehicles. Along with fuel cells, Toyota is considering using hydrogen. in internal combustion engines.

On Tuesday I also saw SuzukiDaihatsu, Toyota and CJPT announce plans to bring battery-powered electric mini commercial vehicles to market in fiscal 2023.

“BEV mini-advertising [battery electric vehicle] developed by these four companies will be used by partners in social implementation projects in Fukushima Prefecture and Tokyo.

Daihatsu is a subsidiary of Toyota. As of March 31, 2022 Toyota held a 4.9% stake in Suzuki.

While Toyota is well known for its hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, it is also trying to make headway in the increasingly competitive battery electric vehicle market, where firms such as Tesla as well as Volkswagen fighting for position.

It wasn’t without problems. In June 2022, Toyota released recalls more than 2,000 all-electric bZ4X SUVs for safety reasons.