Toyota gets ready for mass production of fuel cells

Business news |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

As a reaction to rising interest for the company’s fuel cell sedan Mirai which currently is produced in small series, Toyota is cranking up the production of the two major key components for hydrogen-based mobility: Fuel cell stacks and hydrogen tanks. The company is building a new, eight-storey high-tech building for the production of fuel cell stacks not far from the existing production facility at the Honsha plant in Toyota City. The 70,000 square meter site will manufacture those components that convert hydrogen into electrical energy.

The hydrogen tanks will in future be produced on a separate production line at the Shimoyama plant in Miyoshi City in Aichi Prefecture. Until now, the Toyota tanks, which are made of extra thick carbon fiber and withstand even stronger impacts, were assembled in a much smaller edition in the Honsha factory.

In line with the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050, the new plants will contribute to CO2 reduction in production. Construction of the new hydrogen tank production line is now starting; the interior work is due to start at the fuel cell plant. Further details will be announced on the commissioning of the plants in 2020.

Toyota is regarded as a pioneer in fuel cell technology. With the model Mirai, the Japanese car manufacturer is offering the world’s first fuel cell sedan. Sales have increased successively since its market launch: from 700 units worldwide in 2015 to around 3,000 vehicles last year. Over the next decade, sales of alternatively powered vehicles are expected to rise to 30,000 units per year. In Japan alone, sales of more than 10,000 units per year are targeted. In addition to the Mirai, which is offered in Japan, the USA and nine European countries, fuel cell buses such as the Toyota Sora will also contribute to this. Toyota intends to continuously expand its fuel cell model range and also serve other markets such as forklifts or buses.

Related articles:

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Hydrogen Alliance launched to foster fuel cell drives

Commercial fuel cell car roll-out imminent, Daimler hints

BMW gives hydrogen technology another chance



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