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Toyota announces hydrogen transport partnership projects to develop fuel cell trucks and trains

Toyota is extending its research and development of hydrogen-fuelled transport beyond cars to heavy-duty trucks and trains, working with partners in North America and Japan, making further progress towards a hydrogen-based society.

With the rapidly expanding interest in heavy-duty electric trucks, Toyota Motor North America and Hino USA will leverage the new Hino XL Series chassis with Toyota’s proven fuel cell technology to deliver exceptional transport capability without harmful emissions.

This collaboration builds on the development of a 25-tonne fuel cell electric truck for the Japanese market which was announced earlier this year. The first demonstration vehicle is expected to be launched in the first half of 2021.

“A fuel cell-powered version of the Hino XL Series is a win-win for both customers and the community. It will be quiet, smooth and powerful while emitting nothing but water,” said Tak Yokoo, Senior Executive Engineer, Toyota Research and Development.

“Toyota’s 20-plus years of fuel cell technology, combined with Hino’s heavy-duty truck experience, will create an innovative and capable product.”

Glenn Ellis, Hino’s Senior Vice President Customer Experience, said: “Expanding on our proud heritage of the Hino powertrain, Toyota Fuel Cell Technology offers our customers a commercially viable, extended range, zero emissions vehicle in the near term.

“Hino shares a common focus with Toyota when it comes to durability, reliability, and innovation with the customer at the centre of design which makes this collaboration a game changer.”

JR East, Hitachi and Toyota have entered into an agreement to develop test railway vehicles equipped with hybrid systems that use hydrogen-powered fuel cells and storage batteries as their electric power source. By collaborating to develop these test railway vehicles, Toyota aims to help improve the environmental superiority of railways and help realise a carbon-free, sustainable society.

The combination of JR East’s vehicle design and manufacturing technologies, Hitachi’s railway hybrid drive system technologies and Toyota’s technologies from development of the Mirai fuel cell electric vehicle and the SORA fuel cell bus, will enable the three companies to adapt the fuel cells used in automobiles for railway applications. They will create hybrid fuel cell test vehicles with the aim of achieving the high-power output control necessary to drive railway vehicles.

Toyota will develop the fuel cell device and Hitachi the hybrid drive system in the test train. It will have the nickname HYBARI.

Testing is scheduled to start in March 2022 on the JR East Tsurumi Line, Nambu Line.