Toyota Hilux hydrogen

Toyota is leading a consortium to develop a prototype hydrogen fuel cell-powered version of its Hilux pick-up at the company’s UK vehicle plant in Burnaston, Derbyshire.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK (TMUK) has secured UK government funding for the project through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC).

The APC funding will enable TMUK to develop hydrogen technologies for this specific vehicle market segment during the next three years.

Working with UK-based technical engineering partners Ricardo, ETL, D2H and Thatcham Research, the project will make use of components from Toyota’s second generation fuel cell system used in the latest Toyota Mirai saloon to convert a Hilux into an electric vehicle.

Within the scope of the funding bid, initial prototype Hilux vehicles will be produced at Burnaston during 2023. Once successful performance results have been secured, the intention is to prepare the vehicle for small series production.

Richard Kenworthy, TMUK managing director, said: “The opportunity that this funding enables is significant and goes towards developing the technical capabilities not only of our employees here at our site in Burnaston in the East Midlands but also of those within the wider consortium partners.

“This region is heavily committed to supporting zero-emissions mobility and we see this project as a great opportunity to contribute to the critical path on the road to carbon zero mobility. This UK government funding will enable teams within the consortium to acquire key skills that can then be used to investigate other fuel cell applications.”

Matt Harrison, Toyota Motor Europe President and CEO, said: “The UK is one of the key markets for pick-up trucks and an important market for Toyota. This funding represents a tremendous opportunity to develop a zero-emission solution in a critical market segment. We would like to thank the UK government for the funding that will enable the consortium to investigate the development of a fuel cell powertrain for the Toyota Hilux, supporting our carbon neutrality ambition.”