A Hilux ute will gain a hydrogen-fuel cell in prototype phase during 2023, using similar technology to the Toyota Mirai sedan
Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK has secured government funding to build a Toyota Hilux prototype that runs on nothing but hydrogen and electricity.
Four companies will come together for the project, a venture that will see Toyota’s second-generation fuel cell technology put to use.
It’s the same hydrogen system used in the Toyota Mirai, a model that arrived in Australia last year for lease to a limited number of customers.
Hydrogen is stored in three tanks which is then compressed to make electricity for the onboard electric motors. The Toyota Mirai had a range of 650km (WLTP).
A Toyota Australia spokesperson told Chasing Cars that the company welcomes the announcement of the hydrogen-powered Hilux in the UK.
“We will follow the development of these prototype vehicles with great interest, particularly given the importance of Hilux as the best-selling vehicle in our market”.
Driving a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in Australia is a challenge, as there is currently very limited infrastructure to support the application.
Toyota’s centre of excellence in Altona, Victoria, is currently one of just two places in Australia where you can refuel a hydrogen vehicle – the other is located in Canberra.
While the new hydrogen Hilux would likely have a range of around 500km (WLTP), a lack of fueling stations would make driving such a vehicle almost impossible in the current climate.
Toyota Motor Europe’s president and chief executive officer Matt Harrison said that “the UK is one of the key markets for pick-up trucks and an important market for Toyota”.
However, Australia is also on the list as a big market for utility vehicles, so could we see a hydrogen Hilux here in the future?
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