Toyota Execs Say Hydrogen Fuel Cells Are Ideal For A Tundra-Sized Pickup

Toyota Execs Say Hydrogen Fuel Cells Are Ideal For A Tundra-Sized Pickup

Toyota is one of a handful of automakers that believe hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCVs) are the future of zero-emissions transportation, even though its hydrogen passenger cars never really caught on. However, while fuel cells may not be the best suited for cars, as Toyota’s Mirai vehicle line has proven, they may be a much better match for larger vehicles such as pickups and trucks.

The idea of hydrogen fuel cell pickups is nothing new, and several companies have been interested in creating such a vehicle over the years. Still, none of these projects ever resulted in the creation of FCV pickups that you could buy. However, they were usually overly ambitious startups that lacked the resources and backing to make it happen.

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If there’s one company that could make FCV pickups, it would be Toyota

Toyota has a lot of interest and a lot of resources behind developing hydrogen fuel cell technology and making it commercially viable, but so far it has been struggling to make it work.

Toyota is one of the world’s biggest automakers, though, and it’s a leader in FCV technology, so if it wanted to create a pickup using this propulsion system, it could. Automotive News quotes Jay Sackett, Toyota’s chief engineer for advanced mobility and formerly the Toyota Tundra pickup project chief engineer, who said FCV technology “offers a great opportunity for light-duty trucks. You could get to the same amount range for a truck that you would need a very large battery for.”

Sacket spoke about this during an interview at Toyota’s North American Hydrogen HQ, where group vice president Jordan Choby also took to the stage to announce that the hydrogen tanks that Toyota already has would be a perfect fit for a Tundra-sized fuel cell pickup. Choby even noted that they “have a fuel cell Tundra in Japan that we use to tow our hydrogen internal combustion race car.”

Gallery: Toyota hydrogen-fuelled Hilux Prototype pick-up

The two execs made it clear that no decision has been made yet regarding the possible production of an FCV truck, but it would certainly make more sense than a pure battery-powered pickup whose range plummets when towing. With a fuel cell producing electricity onboard from a tank of pressurized hydrogen, a pickup would need a much smaller battery pack. Yet, it would provide more range than a purely electric truck, providing a similar range to a pure combustion truck.

Sacket says a fuel cell pickup is exactly what US truck buyers seek. He explains that “Tundra owners like to tow. Truck owners also want the fast fueling. Hydrogen allows you to do that. You can pump it like gasoline.”

Aside from the single hydrogen fuel cell Tundra it is testing in Japan, Toyota also showcased an FCV version of the Hilux pickup created by its UK arm (pictured). It features the Mirai’s 182-horsepower powertrain repackaged in a truck body and has three tanks in the vehicle’s floor, providing up to 365 miles of range before needing a refill.

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An older report from July 2022 said Toyota was looking to team up with other automakers to create hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles for use in Japan. It announced that it planned to join forces with Daihatsu and Suzuki to develop small vans for urban use and with Isuzu and Hino to make larger vehicles (mainly trucks) for more heavy-duty applications.

Toyota also conducted tests with fuel-cell-equipped Class 8 semi trucks in California. The goal was to match the performance and range provided by conventional diesel trucks, which Toyota said it achieved with the Kenworth T680 FCEV, which had a range of over 300 miles while fully loaded to 82,000 pounds. Filling it up took about 20 minutes, which enabled it to do multiple runs a day, and Toyota says the 10 trucks built for this trial proved highly successful.

Toyota Execs Say Hydrogen Fuel Cells Are Ideal For A Tundra-Sized Pickup

In a recent statement, Toyota executives have expressed their ⁤belief that hydrogen fuel cells are the ideal power ⁤source for a Tundra-sized pickup truck. ​This announcement comes amid a ‌growing interest in alternative fuel technologies and the need for cleaner and more sustainable transportation options.

According to Toyota’s senior executives, hydrogen ⁢fuel cells offer a number ⁢of key advantages for larger vehicles like the Tundra. ‍One of the main benefits is their relatively ‌quick refueling ​time compared to ‌electric vehicles, which can take hours ‍to charge. Hydrogen fuel cells can be refueled in a matter of minutes, making them ​more⁤ convenient for ‍drivers⁢ who⁢ need to cover long distances or ⁣have busy ⁢schedules.

Additionally, hydrogen ​fuel cells are a clean and environmentally friendly alternative to⁣ traditional gasoline ​engines. They produce zero emissions ⁣when‌ in operation, helping to reduce air pollution and⁣ combat ‌climate change. This is especially important for larger vehicles​ like the Tundra,‍ which tend to have higher fuel‌ consumption and ‌contribute ‌more ‍heavily to greenhouse gas emissions.

Another advantage of hydrogen fuel⁢ cells is their potential for greater range compared to electric vehicles. While⁤ electric trucks have made ‌significant‍ progress in recent years, ‌hydrogen fuel cells have the potential‌ to offer even longer driving ranges, making them a​ more viable option for drivers who need to ​travel long⁣ distances or tow heavy loads.

Toyota has ⁣been a leading proponent of hydrogen fuel cell technology and has already ⁤introduced several models powered⁤ by this technology, such as the Mirai sedan. The‌ company has ⁣also invested in developing a network of hydrogen fueling stations⁢ to ‍support the growing number of vehicles powered by this ⁤technology.

In conclusion, Toyota executives believe that ⁤hydrogen fuel cells are the ideal ⁢power‍ source for a⁤ Tundra-sized pickup truck due to their ‌quick refueling times, zero‍ emissions, and ​potential for greater range. ⁢As the automotive industry continues to transition towards cleaner ⁢and⁣ more sustainable technologies, hydrogen fuel ⁤cells could ​play a key role in powering the next‍ generation of larger vehicles. Toyota’s commitment to ⁣this⁢ technology underscores the company’s dedication⁤ to ⁣innovation and sustainability in the automotive industry.