Toyota will develop a hydrogen-powered Hilux pick-up using funds secured via the UK Government’s Advance Propulsion Centre (APC).
A prototype vehicle, based on the existing Hilux, will be engineered at the company’s UK vehicle plant in Burnaston, Derbyshire, in collaboration with Ricardo, ETL, D2H and Thatcham Research.
The project will make use of components from Toyota’s second-generation fuel cell system, as featured in the latest Toyota Mirai saloon, to transform a Hilux into an electric vehicle.
Richard Kenworthy, Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK (TMUK) managing director, said: “The opportunity that this funding enables is significant and goes towards developing the technical capabilities not only of our employees here at our site in Burnaston in the East Midlands but also of those within the wider consortium partners.
“This region is heavily committed to supporting zero emissions mobility and we see this project as a great opportunity to contribute to the critical path on the road to carbon zero mobility. This UK Government funding will enable teams within the consortium to acquire key skills that can then be used to investigate other fuel cell applications.”
TMUK will lead the project, while Toyota Motor Europe (TME) R&D will provide technical support to help the UK-based teams to build their expertise and become self-sufficient in developing next generation hydrogen drivetrain technologies.
Within the scope of the funding bid, initial prototype Hilux vehicles will be produced at Burnaston during 2023. Once successful performance results have been secured, the intention is to prepare the vehicle for small series production.
The APC funding will enable TMUK to develop hydrogen technologies for this specific vehicle market segment during the next three years.
Glasgow-based HVS was also awarded funding by the APC, to develop a hydrogen-powered HGV.