Toyota and Hino explore fuel-cell tech for light commercial application

TOKYO:  Toyota Motor Corp and Hino Motors will be entering a collaboration to build a light-duty fuel-cell commercial truck.

From 2021 onwards, the hydrogen-powered trucks - along with its 400km of range, will be utilised by Seven-Eleven Japan, FamilyMart and Lawson convenience marts to perform deliveries throughout Japan from their respective centres of operations.

Doing so will help to properly expose weaknesses in utilising the hydrogen as a fuel source before moving towards series production for the truck.

The evaluation will see the marts utilising the trucks for their logistical purposes in transporting goods between multiple distribution centres and stores.

Once the trials begin, Toyota and Hino will begin studies for hydrogen stations placements, the supply of hydrogen, its filling capabilities, operating hours for these commercial vehicles as well as the purchase of vehicles and cost of hydrogen fuel for future popularization.

Discussions will be held between national and local authorities as well as hydrogen station operators to help address and solve issues in order to create a more cohesive environment - especially one that leads to the reduction of CO2 emissions.

The collaboration will also begin to look further beyond the commercial realm and into passenger vehicles as well.

At current, battery-operated electric vehicles require longer recharge times and are not as energy-dense as fuel-cell vehicles.

For this purpose, Toyota and Hino have set a required minimum range of 400km for their trucks which require considerably less time to refill its hydrogen store(s) compared to their battery-operated counterparts.

Autos Toyota
Autos Hino