Toyota has formed and is going to lead an alliance to generate a Hilux powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The consortium is led by Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK (TMUK) with technology partners Ricardo, European Thermodynamics Limited (ETL), D2H, and Thatcham Research.
Toyota Motors UK (TMUK) recieved funding from the UK government through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), a company that promotes cleaner technologies and new mobility concepts, according to the Japanese automaker.
According to the details, the funding will help with the later-stage R&D phase, which includes the development of prototype vehicles.
Matt Harrison, president, and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe commented on this development:
“The UK is one of the key markets for pick-up trucks and is an important market for Toyota. This funding represents a tremendous opportunity to develop a zero-emission solution in a critical market segment. We would like to thank the UK government for the funding that will enable the consortium to investigate the development of a fuel cell powered powertrain for the Toyota Hilux, supporting our carbon neutrality ambition.”
Unlike others, that are focused on battery electric vehicles, Toyota confirmed that it will continue to develop a variety of power trains, including hydrogen and hybrid. It argues that not every market or customer is ready for pure EVs, citing cost, infrastructure, and ease of use as reasons for this.
Last year, Toyota unveiled an EV pick-up truck concept, indicating its interest in zero-emission commercial vehicles. The company is looking into the possibility of a hydrogen-powered Hilux to find new applications for its fuel cell technology.
Although, it is unknown whether this will ever be available in passenger vehicles. Engineers have created a hydrogen-powered version of the Toyota Corolla Cross SUV that uses existing engines and hydrogen storage systems. The company’s executives say it is “around 40% along the path to commercialization,” but they are unsure whether it will used in passenger vehicles.