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  2. It is here! Our H2 fuel cell electric Hilux prototype

It is here! Our H2 fuel cell electric Hilux prototype

We continue the development of H2 fuel cell solutions towards achieving carbon neutrality across Eur
Our latest milestone towards a zero-carbon future – the fuel cell electric Hilux prototype –  is a further demonstration of our multi-path strategy to achieve carbon neutral mobility applying different powertrain solutions to suit different user needs and operating environments worldwide.

The reveal of a CO2 neutral Toyota global icon

The ground-breaking Fuel Cell electric pick-up was revealed on the 4th of September at Toyota Manufacturing UK’s vehicle plant in Burnaston (TMUK), England, where it has been developed in a joint project with consortium partners, supported by UK Government funding. Hilux is one of our global icons with a reputation for exceptional reliability and durability. Therefore, the development project explored how these qualities could be maintained while adopting a new fuel cell electric zero emission powertrain.

How it all began

It all kicked-off in early 2022 with a feasibility study between TME and TMUK. Soon, funding was gained from the UK Government through the Advanced Propulsion Centre. Then, in July 2022, an intense design and development programme started with Ricardo, ETL, D2H Advanced Technologies and Thatcham Research as consortium partners, with additional support from Toyota Motor Corporation. Prototype construction began on June 5, 2023, and only 3 weeks later the first vehicle was ready, marking the starting point of the 10 to come by the end of this year. 

Optimising range, space and sustainability

Our fuel cell Hilux prototype powertrain uses core elements from the Toyota Mirai – technology that has proved its quality in almost 10 years of commercial production. When driven, the fuel cell produces no tailpipe emissions other than pure water. H2 is stored in three high-pressure fuel tanks, giving the prototype an expected driving range of more than 600 km – significantly further than what a battery electric system can achieve. The hybrid battery, which stores electricity produced on-board by the fuel cell, is positioned in the rear load deck, avoiding loss of cabin space. 

Revving up for the hydrogen horizon

This project enabled TMUK members to develop and apply new skills related to fuel cell electrified vehicles and hydrogen system components. All the consortium members played key roles in the initial phase of the programme. Ricardo not only has supported preparations for the prototype build - carrying out design and development tasks and confirming the complete manufacturing process in parallel with teams at TMUK - but will also undertake complete evaluation of the vehicle over the coming months, prior to a decision on a potential production model being introduced in the second half of this decade.