Toyota Motor Corporation is continuing to develop hydrogen fuel cell vehicles while also bringing electric vehicles to market.
One of the company’s latest fuel cell projects is a joint venture between Toyota and its wholly owned, truck-making subsidiary, Hino, to develop a heavy duty fuel cell truck.
Essential energy source
Both brands have positioned hydrogen as an important energy source for the future and have worked together on developing fuel cell technologies for more than 15 years, since their joint demonstration of a fuel cell bus in 2003.
They will continue to partner each other to accelerate efforts towards the realisation of an environmentally friendly hydrogen society.
The Hino heavy duty truck model on which the new development is based, is a 700-Series freight carrier and fitted with a large capacity high pressure hydrogen tank. It will provide a range of about 600km, on an integrated city and highway driving cycle, between refuelling.
This makes it ideal for long distance transport where operators require a relatively long range between refuelling stops and the ability to refuel quickly. Fuel cell trucks running on hydrogen meet these requirements with zero emissions.
The development truck uses two of Toyota’s polymer electrolyte fuel cell stacks that were developed for the recently unveiled Mirai passenger car.
Electricity is stored in lithium ion batteries and drive to the rear wheels is by means of a powerful alternating current (AC) electric motor. A weight reduction programme has been undertaken to ensure sufficient load capacity.
Hino and Toyota are determined to be proactive in developments that will resolve the current global environmental issues. Hino’s Environmental Challenge 2050, which was announced in 2017, includes the aim of cutting the average carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new trucks and buses by 90% from the levels in 2013.
Hino’s internal research has shown that heavy duty trucks account for more than 60% of CO2 emissions from commercial vehicles operating in Japan, so this has spurred on this joint venture with Toyota.