Toyota is preparing to expand its portfolio approach to products by taking its groundbreaking hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric technology from prototypes to production in its efforts to achieve carbon neutrality, following thousands of miles of real-world testing in the harsh environment of commercial trucking.
Beginning in 2023, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK) will start assembling integrated twin fuel cell (FC) modules for use in hydrogen-powered, heavy-duty commercial trucks on a dedicated line. The FC modules sharpen Toyota’s electrification strategy by allowing truck manufacturers to integrate emissions-free fuel cell electric technology into current platforms with Toyota’s technical support under the hood.
The two fuel cell modules, which are a critical component of an overall FC kit, weigh about 1,400 pounds and provide a continuous power output of up to 160kW. A high-voltage battery, electric motors, transmission, and hydrogen storage assembly from top-tier vendors are also included in the FC kit. Toyota will also contribute its powertrain integration expertise to assist truck manufacturers in adapting these emissions-free drivetrain systems to a variety of heavy-duty transportation applications.
“We’re bringing our proven electric technology to a whole new class of production vehicles,” said Tetsuo Ogawa, president and chief executive officer, Toyota Motor North America. “Heavy-duty truck manufacturers will be able to buy a fully integrated and validated fuel cell electric drive system, allowing them to offer their customers an emissions-free option in the Class 8 heavy-duty segment.”
“This second-generation fuel cell system is necessary for a carbon neutral future,” says David Rosier, Toyota Kentucky powertrain head. “It delivers over 300 miles of range at a full load weight of 80,000 lbs., all while demonstrating exceptional drivability, quiet operation and zero harmful emissions.”