Posted: Tue 5th Sep 2023

Deeside Engine Plant: Toyota unveils hydrogen-powered Hilux prototype

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Sep 5th, 2023


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Toyota has revealed a prototype of its renowned Hilux, now powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

The unveiling of this environmentally-friendly pick-up signals a pivotal moment in Toyota’s drive for carbon-free mobility.

This prototype is not just a milestone for Toyota, but also an embodiment of its multi-technology strategy.

The automobile giant is now applying a spectrum of powertrain solutions, from hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid electric to battery electric and fuel cell electric, catering to varying global demands and conditions.

The innovative pick-up was showcased at Toyota Manufacturing UK’s Burnaston car plant located in Derby.

This remarkable vehicle is a fruit of collaboration between Toyota and its consortium partners, all underpinned by generous UK Government funding. If it delivers on performance as anticipated, a limited series production might be on the horizon.

This venture could translate into a transformative phase for Toyota’s Deeside factory, potentially pivoting to hydrogen fuel cell production.

With a promise of sustaining and potentially creating more than 250 jobs in the region over the next ten years, this endeavour spells good news for the local community.

The globally revered Toyota Hilux, synonymous with reliability and endurance, has taken on the challenge of integrating an electrified powertrain without compromising its celebrated qualities.

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Nusrat Ghani, the Minister for Industry and Economic Security, applauded the feat, stating, “This is a great example of UK’s thriving manufacturing sector. Congratulations to Toyota on this significant step towards zero emissions in Britain.”

Richard Kenworthy, TMUK’s Managing Director, highlighted the accelerated progress, “The UK Government funding played a vital role in the swift development of this new vehicle. This effort paves the way for our teams to work on future hydrogen-related technologies.”

Ian Constance, APC Chief Executive, lauded the collaborative effort, noting the rapid turnaround of the Toyota Hilux project as a testament to the UK’s robust automotive supply chain.

Inside the Vehicle

This new Hilux borrows core elements from Toyota Mirai’s proven hydrogen fuel cell technology. It ensures zero tailpipe emissions, releasing only pure water. Furthermore, its high-pressure fuel tanks promise an impressive driving range exceeding 365 miles, outshining battery electric systems.

Journey to the Prototype

The initiative kicked off in early 2022, with a feasibility study jointly conducted by TMUK, Toyota Motor Europe, and partners such as Ricardo, ETL, D2H Advanced Technologies, and Thatcham Research. The UK Government’s funding, channelled through the Advanced Propulsion Centre, catalysed the project’s progression. Remarkably, the prototype’s construction began in June this year, with the first vehicle rolling out within a mere three weeks.

The Bigger Picture

This collaborative effort has enriched the knowledge pool of TMUK members, equipping them with new skills centred on hydrogen systems and fuel cell electrified vehicles. Consortium members have also been instrumental in the project’s initial stages, further underscoring the spirit of collaboration and innovation at its heart.

Toyota’s dedication to sustainable motoring and innovation remains evident. With facilities in Burnaston and Deeside, the company continues to be at the forefront of developing eco-friendly vehicles for the future.

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