Toyota Hilux FCEV - fuel cell instead of battery

Toyota is developing a fuel cell version of the Hilux pick-up. It uses the technology from the Mirai and is scheduled to be presented as early as 2023.

Hybrid pioneer and hydrogen pioneer: At Toyota you can't get out of your skin. While the new battery-electric pickups are popping up like mushrooms, especially in the USA, the world's largest car manufacturer is also focusing on fuel cells for flatbed trucks. At least in small series, as the Japanese have now announced. The first prototypes of a hydrogen-powered Toyota Hilux are to be presented for Europe as early as 2023.

The fuel cell platform truck is being developed in England by a consortium led by Toyota Manufacturing UK Limited (TMUK). Also on board are the engineering company Ricardo, Forma European Thermodynamic, the D2H group and Thatcham Research. Toyota Motors Europe's R&D department also contributes their expertise.

The Hilux with fuel cell drive, which Toyota initially wants to produce as individual prototypes at the Burnaston plant, relies on drive technology from the Toyota Mirai. While the fuel cell is housed in the front end instead of the combustion engine, three high-pressure tanks are mounted lengthwise under the car. The drive is taken over by an electric motor on the rear axle, from all-wheel drive as in the standard Hilux there is nothing to be seen on the first project drawing.

Toyota has not yet given any data on the future hydrogen pick-up, but we can read it from the Toyota Mirai. The Hilux gets the technology from the second Mirai generation , which debuted with us in 2021. Means: A lithium-ion battery as a buffer storage and a permanently excited synchronous motor for the rear-wheel drive, which brings it to 134 kW and 300 Newton meters. One has to speculate about the capacity of the hydrogen storage tanks: while the current Mirai relies on tanks of different sizes and distributed, the sectional view of the FCEV-Hilux shows three pressure storage tanks of the same size - there is more space in such a pick-up with a ladder frame than in a car The hydrogen Hilux will probably have a storage volume of around six kilos of hydrogen gas, while the Mirai has 5.6 kg.

There are two reasons why Toyota is converting the Hilux to a hydrogen pickup. On the one hand there is generous financial support for the project from the British government, on the other hand the conversion is comparatively easy. Because in a pick-up with a ladder frame, the individual components of the FCEV drive can be integrated more easily later than in the complex self-supporting chassis of a car.

Conclusion

Not least thanks to British subsidies, Toyota is converting the Hilux pick-up to a fuel cell drive. The technology for this comes from the Mirai. First, a few prototypes are created for extensive test drives. If successful, Toyota is considering a small series of hydrogen pickups.

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