Toyota leads consortium to develop hydrogen-powered Hilux pickup

Car stuff, Electric Vehicles

Toyota is leading a consortium to develop a prototype hydrogen fuel cell-powered version of its  Hilux pick-up at the company’s UK vehicle plant in Burnaston, Derbyshire.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK has successfully secured UK Government funding for the project through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), an organisation supporting the development of cleaner technologies and new mobility concepts.  

The APC is a non-profit organisation working with the UK Government, the automotive industry and academic bodies to accelerate the industrialisation of technologies and support the transition to net-zero emission vehicles delivery.

This new opportunity to bring zero-emission technology to the commercial vehicle market reflects evolving customer demand and Toyota’s 360-degree approach to sustainable mobility across all sectors, the company claims. The APC funding will enable Toyota to develop hydrogen technologies for this specific vehicle market segment during the next three years. 

The consortium will receive funding to cover the development of a hydrogen fuel cell electric Hilux, working in collaboration with technical engineering partners Ricardo, ETL, D2H and Thatcham Research.

The project will make use of components from Toyota’s second-generation fuel cell system, as featured in the latest Toyota Mirai saloon, to transform a Hilux into an electric vehicle. 

Within the scope of the funding bid, initial prototype Hilux vehicles will be produced at Burnaston during 2023. Once successful performance results have been secured, the intention is to prepare the vehicle for small series production.

The project is an exciting opportunity to investigate a further application of Toyota’s fuel cell technology in a vehicle segment that is key to a number of industry groups and will help support the sector’s move towards decarbonisation, Toyota claims. 

Says Richard Kenworthy Toyota UK’s Managing Director:

“The opportunity that this funding enables is significant and goes towards developing the technical capabilities not only of our employees here at our site in Burnaston in the East Midlands but also of those within the wider consortium partners. 

“This region is heavily committed to supporting zero emissions mobility and we see this project as a great opportunity to contribute to the critical path on the road to carbon zero mobility.  This UK Government funding will enable teams within the consortium to acquire key skills that can then be used to investigate other fuel cell applications.” 

Chris Price
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