Toyota has constructed its first Hilux Hydrogen Fuel Cell Prototype at its Burnaston vehicle plant in Derby, England. This project is a collaboration with consortium partners and has received funding from the UK government. The automaker aims to produce 10 prototypes by the end of the year.
The powertrain of this Hilux prototype incorporates components from the Toyota Mirai. Toyota estimates that it can travel up to 365 miles on a single hydrogen refill, while the Australian-market Hilux with a 2.8-liter turbodiesel engine can go approximately 715 miles between refills.
Images reveal that the hydrogen tanks are positioned between the frame rails, similar to the cabin placement. Other fuel cell components are located under the hood, where a conventional combustion engine would typically be found. The battery is situated at the rear.
Toyota initiated this project as a feasibility study in early 2022, with design and development commencing on July 1, 2022. The prototype construction began on June 5, 2023.
The automaker plans to subject the 10 prototypes to rigorous testing to ensure they uphold the Hilux’s reputation for durability. Safety performance, functionality, and durability tests are being prepared. Toyota aims to gain insights into the opportunities and risks associated with a fuel cell-powered pickup.
In December 2022, Toyota unveiled the electric Hilux Revo BEV Concept. However, no specific details regarding the truck’s battery or motor specifications were provided at that time. During the presentation, Akio Toyoda stated that battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are not the sole solution for achieving global carbon neutrality goals.
Furthermore, Toyota announced its joint project with Isuzu and Hino to develop a light-duty pickup with a hydrogen fuel cell in 2022. However, no timeline has been specified for the production of this model.
Toyota is also deliberating on the possibility of creating a fuel cell-powered version of the Land Cruiser, in addition to plug-in hybrid and fully electric variants. It remains uncertain which, if any, of these options will ultimately enter production.