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Toyota Partners with Hino to Make Fuel Cell Truck

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Heavy-Duty Fuel Cell Truck
Photo: Toyota

Toyota and Hino Motors have struck a new partnership with the aim to develop a hydrogen-powered, heavy-duty fuel cell truck that will produce zero emissions. Hino, based in Tokyo, is the leading producer of medium and heavy-duty diesel trucks in Asia.

Both companies have declared ambitious goals to reduce CO2 emissions. In addition to developing electric vehicle technologies for widespread use, Toyota and Hino believe in the need to significantly improve the environmental performance of heavy-duty trucks.

According to Toyota, heavy-duty trucks are responsible for about 60 percent of the total CO2 emissions from commercial vehicles in Japan. And while automakers are currently investing millions to electrify their model lineups, the majority of the vehicles actually polluting the environment are not benefiting from the consumer powertrain improvements.

Unfortunately, long charge times, poor performance under heavy loads, and limited range make traditional electrification a poor solution to heavy-duty vehicle emissions. Hydrogen, on the other hand, tends to have none of these issues.

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Hydrogen fuel cell technology has been eclipsed by traditional electrification in the consumer sphere, in part because of a lack of infrastructure. Despite that, it has relatively thrived in the commercial market, with Toyota at the fore.

“The optimum powertrain must be adopted to ensure both outstanding environmental performance and just-right practicality as a business vehicle in terms of cruising range, load capacity, and other aspects depending on the usage,” the automaker said in a statement.

“Heavy-duty trucks are typically used for highway transportation; therefore, they are required to have sufficient cruising range and load capacity as well as fast refueling capability. For this reason, fuel cell vehicles that run on hydrogen with its higher energy density are considered effective.”

Toyota and Hino have been working together on energy technologies for over 15 years, even jointly demonstrating a fuel cell bus in 2003. Back in the United States, Toyota has been hard at work at developing a heavy-duty fuel cell truck for use in the Los Angeles area.

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