Though it remains heavily vested in EVs, Ford has also made it quite clear that fully electric power isn’t quite feasible for larger trucks at the moment. Instead, the automaker is exploring the idea of hydrogen power via not only one, but two different pilot programs, which are centered around hydrogen fuel cell-powered Transit and F-550 models. While even the Ford Super Duty may go hydrogen before all-electric, the automaker has noted that these types of products will remain a bit of a niche – for now – with third-party companies already providing the powertrains for select commercial customers. However, FoMoCo isn’t the only automaker exploring this small but promising segment, as a new hydrogen-powered Toyota Hilux pickup concept was just revealed in the UK.
The hydrogen-powered Toyota Hilux has reportedly been in development since early last year, and utilizes the same second-generation powertrain as the Mirai sedan, which has been on sale for a number of years now. With a range of around 365 miles, development of the alternative fuel pickup was supported by government funding via the through the Advanced Propulsion Center (APC), which aims to help spur the next generation of net-zero vehicles and technologies.
With three high-pressure fuel tanks on board, the Hilux hydrogen prototype produces no tailpipe emissions other than pure water and also utilizes a battery to store electricity produced onboard by the fuel cell. That unit is positioned in the rear load deck, which Toyota says prevents it from taking away any cabin space. Now, the new pickup will undergo testing to determine its viability as a production model.
“The project team have accomplished an incredible job in a very short space of time, from creating the prototype build area to completion of the first vehicle,” said Richard Kenworthy, Toyota Manufacturing UK Managing Director. “The UK Government funding has enabled us not only to develop a new vehicle in record time, but also to upskill our teams to work on hydrogen-related technologies, something we hope to build on in the future. This is a great vote of confidence in UK manufacturing and its potential to deliver carbon-free vehicles to meet future targets.”