The Japanese car manufacturer Toyota and its commercial vehicle subsidiary Hino Motors are developing a fuel cell truck based on the Hino Profia. The vehicle will use technology that Toyota developed for the next generation Mirai.
+ + Kindly see our update below + +
According to a Toyota announcement, the chassis of the Profia has been specially adapted for use as a fuel cell vehicle, but Toyota does not mention specific conversions. Only this much: “Extensive weight savings” are intended to enable a high load capacity. The almost 12-metre-long Profia is to have a total weight of 25 tonnes.
Thanks to two fuel cell stacks, which have already been developed for the next generation of the Toyota Mirai, the range is expected to be 600 kilometres. So far Toyota does not make any statements about the performance of the FC drive, nor is there any information about the hydrogen tank’s size and position. The Japanese had presented the second-generation Mirai in autumn 2019 but had hardly published any technical details about the drive. Thanks to larger hydrogen tanks and an optimised fuel cell the claimed range is 30 per cent higher than the predecessor’s – but none of these details can be transferred to the H2 truck now shown. The Mirai car is scheduled to go into production this autumn – until then Toyota will probably provide more data.
Toyota says it is focussing heavily on the challenges of heavy-duty traffic in Japan where trucks account for about 60 per cent of the total CO2 emissions of commercial vehicles in Japan. With the fuel cell truck, the Toyota Group wants to develop a commercial vehicle that combines “economy, sustainability and practical benefits”. A date for a possible (small) series production of the FC truck is not mentioned in the communication, however.
Update Tuesday 6 October 2020: Toyota and Hino Motors have now extended the cooperation for electric commercial vehicles that was announced in March. In addition to the fuel cell truck with a total weight of 25 tons for the Japanese market, the two companies now also want to develop a 40-ton truck with fuel cell drive for the North American market. The first demonstration vehicle is scheduled for completion in the first half of 2021.
The H2 fuel cell truck will be based on the Hino-XL chassis, which will be equipped with Toyota’s existing fuel cell technology. Toyota and Hino have not yet said exactly how many of the stacks will be used in the 40-ton truck.
The development process shoud end up with an emission-free Class 8 truck. Class 8 includes all trucks over 15 tons. One more obvious potential market is California, where sales quotas for zero emission commercial vehicles will apply from 2024. In the case of Class 8, it starts at five percent in 2024, but from 2032 40 percent of registrations in this class must be emission-free trucks.
Also moving fast in the fuel cell truck business is fellow Japanese company Hyundai, who also recently announced the serial production of fuel cell trucks for the North American market.
Incidentally, Hino is also developing battery-powered commercial vehicles with the Chinese company BYD. The cooperation was announced a few weeks after the 25-ton fuel cell truck in April 2020.
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