Toyota develops fuel cell truck with Hino

Technology News |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

Electrification is particularly important in heavy-duty traffic: in Japan alone, heavy trucks are responsible for around 60 percent of the CO2 emissions of commercial vehicles; in other countries the situation is not much different. The challenge is to reconcile economy, sustainability and practical benefits. The trucks, which are often used over long distances, must offer sufficient range and load capacity, while at the same time not being able to make long refueling stops. For this reason, Toyota and Hino are relying on the fuel cell drive and the high energy density of hydrogen.

The chassis of the fuel cell truck based on the Hino Profia was adapted for this type of drive. Extensive weight savings enable a high loading capacity. Thanks to two fuel cell stacks, which have already been developed for the next generation of the Toyota Mirai, the range is expected to be 600 kilometers. In driving mode, hydrogen is converted into electrical energy that drives an electric motor. The only emission produced is water vapor. When the tank is empty, the hydrogen containers can be refilled within a few minutes. Market observers see this capability as a major advantage over battery vehicles, which usually take several hours to recharge. The challenge with fuel cell technology, on the other hand, is to make the high-pressure tanks stable and leak-proof. A tank with a pressure of Mega-Pascal (MPa) is planned for the planned fuel cell truck.

Toyota and Hino are thus taking the next step: Both companies have been researching fuel cell technology for more than 15 years and see hydrogen as an important energy source of the future. Already in 2003 Toyota and Hino have jointly developed and tested a fuel cell bus. In the future, both companies will further deepen their partnership and accelerate their efforts to realize a hydrogen society.

Fuel cell technology and its introduction in freight transport will make an important contribution to the companies’ ambitious sustainability goals: As part of the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050, the Japanese mobility company intends to significantly reduce its CO2 emissions. For example, fleet emissions are to be reduced by 90 percent by 2050 compared to 2010. Emissions in production will also be minimized.

Related articles:

Toyota gets ready for mass production of fuel cells

Toyota presents improved fuel cell truck

Hydrogen propulsion is gaining ground (albeit slowly)

Bosch, Powercell make fuel cell technology ready for mass production



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