Toyota has taken its Hilux pickup truck (North American equivalent to the Tacoma) and replaced its gasoline drivetrain with a hydrogen fuel cell electric setup. The demonstration prototype is meant to showcase Toyota’s commitment to multiple avenues for advanced and zero-tailpipe-emissions powertrain solutions. The Hilux HFCEV was unveiled at Toyota’s vehicle plant in Derby, England.
The prototype Hilux fuel cell truck uses core elements from Toyota’s Mirai hydrogen-powered electric sedan. Three high pressure tanks provide about 600 km (373 miles) of driving range. The hydrogen fuel cells, controllers, and small battery making up the drivetrain are positioned in the engine compartment and under the cargo bed so there is no compromise to interior space. The H2 storage tanks are positioned mid-frame beneath the cabin.
Toyota began construction on the prototype in June of this year with the first vehicle being completed three weeks later. Toyota will build ten of them by the end of 2023. These ten prototypes will then undergo rigorous testing and proofing to ensure they meet Hilux customer expectations for functionality, performance, and durability. If so, they could continue development as a commercial offering.
The Hilux FCEV was designed and implemented in cooperation with Ricardo UK and the UK government.
Aaron is an automotive journalist living in Wyoming, USA. His background includes technology, mechanics, commercial vehicles, and new vehicle evaluations. Aaron is a member of several automotive media groups and writes for many well-known publications.