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Toyota unveils fuel-cell electric Hilux prototype

by | Sep 8, 2023

Toyota has revealed its most recent breakthrough to a zero-carbon future with their new prototype hydrogen fuel cell electric Hilux. The car is a product of multiple companies and achieves both carbon-free mobility, whilst also having the ability to suit multiple different users.

The car was developed through a collaboration between five different companies, these include Toyota Manufacturing UK (TMUK), Ricardo, ETL, D2H Advanced Technologies, Thatcham Research. Each of these companies had a key role to play and the end result is a car, which after years of research and funding from the Government, runs on a fuel-cell which only produces pure water and no other emissions. The car’s design works very efficiently with Hydrogen being stored in three high-pressure fuel tanks, giving the prototype Hilux an expected driving range of more than 600 km. This is significantly further than what a battery system might allow. The hybrid battery, which stores electricity produced on-board by the fuel cell, is positioned in the rear load deck, providing the added benefit of not using any of the cabin space. The technology that the car uses has also proved its quality for nearly 10 years of commercial production.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK (TMUK) began production in 1992 as Toyota’s first fully owned manufacturing business in Europe and then became the company’s first location for hybrid electric vehicle manufacturing outside Japan. TMUK produces Corolla Hatchback, Touring Sports and Commercial models at its production centre in Burnaston, Derbyshire, and hybrid engines at its facility in Deeside North Wales.

Ricardo is a global strategic engineering and environmental consultancy specialising in the transport, energy and scarce resources sectors. Ricardo supported the technical integration of the fuel cell components into the Hilux chassis.

ETL (European Thermodynamics) studied reversible and multi fan arrangements and is a company committed to delivering high-integrity thermal solutions through excellence in design and innovation.

D2H Advanced Technologies has completed CFD analysis to highlight where improvements could be made. They also provide high-technology engineering services in simulation, modelling, aerodynamics, thermodynamics and design for motorsport and other high-performance industries.

Thatcham Research, supported the project through providing sustainable repair consultancy and the preparation of hydrogen training for the repair market. The automotive risk intelligence company is dedicated to understanding the opportunities and risks of new vehicle technology.

The Hilux has a reputation of being reliable and durable, as well as this, it has also been created in multiple different designs so that it is more user friendly. Toyota has developed a car which demonstrates their multi-path strategy for achieving carbon-free mobility, by applying different powertrain solutions – hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric, battery electric and fuel cell electric – these separate designs which provide customers with a range of options for their own convenience, highlight Toyota’s commitment to the environment and to their customers.

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