New fuel cell electric commercial vehicles will accelerate development of a hydrogen ecosystem and extend Toyota’s portfolio of hydrogen partners across diverse sectors
Start-up business Hyliko is planning to integrate Toyota’s second generation hydrogen fuel cell modules into heavy-duty trucks to build a zero emission fleet offering.
This latest co-operation increases Toyota’s portfolio of partnerships in which it is providing its fuel cell technology to support hydrogen initiatives in diverse areas, including trains, buses, generators and marine.
Toyota Motor Europe’s (TME) Fuel Cell Business is looking to expand into the wider commercial vehicle sector to help accelerate the growth of zero emission hydrogen mobility. It sees great potential in trucks, which are currently responsible for transporting 77 per cent of all European road freight.
The lower weight of a hydrogen fuel cell system compared to an combustion engine powertrain allows the trucks to carry a heavier payload, while the speed of refuelling means they are not off the road for long, maintaining efficient high usage rates. Their usage patterns and their demand for larger volumes of hydrogen fuel position them as potential key contributors to the development of sustainable infrastructures.
Toyota is already working with multiple partners globally to integrate fuel cell technology into heavy-duty transport. The ZANZEFF “shore to store” project in the USA, launched in 2019, recently proved that fuel cell electric trucks can match the performance of diesel vehicles and provide a zero emission alternative ready for commercial deployment.
The partnership with France-based Hyliko marks another step towards TME’s vision for hydrogen ecosystems in Europe. As hydrogen is a key pillar in Europe’s energy strategy, TME is prioritising the expansion of different types of fuel cell applications, stimulating both supply and demand to develop viable business models. TME’s partnership strategy aims to develop synergies between different business sectors and supporting communities and industries that want to become fully fledged hydrogen corridors.
Thiebault Paquet, TME Vice President R&D2 and Head of Fuel Cell Business, commented: “Hyliko is a dynamic start-up with a broad vision for hydrogen. It plans to offer all the main components of an eco-cluster: a fuel cell truck, the supply of green hydrogen and a leasing and maintenance scheme. Having such a holistic and long-term view on the growth of a viable hydrogen ecosystem is necessary for business sustainability and to reassure investors.
“Together with partners like Hyliko, we will continue to stimulate eco-systems around Europe towards a larger hydrogen society, as one of the main building blocks to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040.”
Hyliko will offer two fuel cell truck models: a 44-tonne tractor and a 26-tonne straight truck, available in 6×2 and 6×4 variants. Each vehicle will be equipped with two Toyota fuel cell modules. As part of its truck leasing programme, Hyliko plans to introduce its own green hydrogen infrastructure, including fuel production, storage and distribution.
Ovarith Troeung, Hyliko CEO, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Toyota which will equip our first vehicles with its hydrogen technology. Renowned for their reliability and performance levels, Toyota fuel cell modules are key components in the design and construction of our new hydrogen trucks. Over and above our desire to develop clean, efficient vehicles for road freight transport, we are pursuing efforts to roll out other important elements of our offer, which includes leasing and maintenance of hydrogen trucks and the supply of hydrogen fuel. We are keen to unveil our new fuel cell truck in the near future and help achieve the decarbonisation goals of road freight transport, which is a key sector in our economy.”