Toyota Claims Powertrain Breakthrough with Hydrogen Hilux

Paul Myles, European Editor

September 5, 2023

2 Min Read

Toyota claims to have reached a milestone in advancing hydrogen fuel-cell technology with its British built prototype Hilux unveiled in the UK.

The ground-breaking pick-up has been developed at its UK plant in Burnaston, Derby, in a joint project with consortium partners backed by UK government funding. Its powertrain uses core elements from the Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell electric saloon.

Three high-pressure fuel tanks are used, giving the Hilux an expected driving range of more than 365 miles, significantly further than might be achieved with a battery electric system. The battery, which stores electricity produced on-board by the fuel cell, is positioned in the rear load deck, avoiding loss of cabin space.

The project began in early 2022 with a feasibility study undertaken by Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK (TMUK)and Toyota Motor Europe with consortium partners Ricardo, ETL, D2H Advanced Technologies and Thatcham Research. This enabled the start of an intense design and development program, with additional support from Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC). Prototype construction began in June this year, working to Toyota Production System principles in a dedicated area within the TMUK facility. The first vehicle was completed just three weeks later, the first of 10 that will be built by the end of this year. These will undergo testing around the world to ensure safety, dynamic performance, functionality and durability meet the high standards required of a production model.

Richard Kenworthy, TMUK managing director, said: “The project team have accomplished an incredible job in a very short space of time, from creating the prototype build area to completion of the first vehicle. The UK government funding has enabled us not only to develop a new vehicle in record time, but also to upskill our teams to work on hydrogen-related technologies, something we hope to build on in the future.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_  and Threads

About the Author(s)

Paul Myles

European Editor, Informa Group

Paul Myles is an award-winning journalist based in Europe covering all aspects of the automotive industry. He has a wealth of experience in the field working at specialist, national and international levels.

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