Toyota to develop hydrogen Hilux pickup on back of £11m government funding

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5th December 2022

Toyota is to develop a hydrogen-powered Hilux pickup, supported by £11.3m in government funding.

A consortium led by the manufacturer will develop a hydrogen fuel cell-powered prototype of the Hilux at the company’s UK vehicle plant in Burnaston, Derbyshire during 2023. These will then be evaluated for potential for small series production.

The prototype will use Toyota’s latest second-generation fuel cell technology already seen in the Mirai saloon to transform the ICE Hilux into a fuel cell electric vehicle.

The funding comes through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) and specifically supports later stage R&D that takes a product from proof of concept to prototype vehicles. Other members of the consortium include Ricardo, ETL, D2H and Thatcham Research.

Toyota said the project would enable the investigation of an additional application of Toyota’s fuel cell technology in a vehicle segment that is key to a number of industry groups and will help support the sector’s move towards decarbonisation.

Matt Harrison, president & CEO of Toyota Motor Europe, commented: “The UK is one of the key markets for pick-up trucks and is an important market for Toyota. This funding represents a tremendous opportunity to develop a zero-emission solution in a critical market segment. We would like to thank the UK government for the funding that will enable the consortium to investigate the development of a fuel cell-powered powertrain for the Toyota Hilux, supporting our carbon neutrality ambition.”

The consortium of specialist industry partners will also work closely on the project. Thatcham Research will support in terms of crash safety and insurance ratings as well as hydrogen vehicle repair training programmes.

Richard Kenworthy, managing director, Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK), said: “We are confident that this is a winning combination of companies that can collectively contribute to the hydrogen landscape, supporting new job skills and competencies going forward.”

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