In a joint project between Toyota, consortium partners and the UK government funding, the first Hilux Hydrogen Fuel Cell Prototype has been built. It is the first of 10 intended to be built before the end of the year.
Fuel cells generate electricity by merging hydrogen with oxygen, releasing only water and heat as byproducts. This Hilux’s powertrain uses parts from the Toyota Mirai. The automaker estimates that it has a range of 365 miles between hydrogen refills.
The hydrogen tanks appear to fit between the frame rails, roughly where the cabin does. The additional fuel cell components are located beneath the hood, where the combustion engine is normally found. The battery is located in the back.
The carmaker plans to put the ten prototypes through rigorous testing to ensure the model lives up to the Hilux’s rugged work horse standards. The company is preparing tests for safety, functionality, and durability. They are also using these prototypes to explore the opportunities and risks of a fuel-cell-powered pickup.
Lastly, Toyota is exploring producing a Land Cruiser powered by fuel cells on top of other variants with Plug-in hybrid and all-electric technologies.