Major car manufacturer Toyota has confirmed that it remains committed to hydrogen vehicles, as well as confirming that it would boost production of electric cars.
The Japanese carmaker has been one of the biggest supporters of hydrogen fuel cell (FCEV) technology in recent years, producing two versions of the Mirai saloon car.
Toyota has struggled with its hydrogen vehicle aims, selling fewer than 4,000 cars last year, compared to its total worldwide sales of 9.5 million.
Despite this, the manufacturer remains steadfast in its support for hydrogen fuel cell technology with plans to scale up its activities in Europe with the Toyota Hydrogen Factory.
The factory is expected to be one of the world’s largest hydrogen fuel cell markets by the end of the decade, with the marque focusing on development, production, sales and aftersales.
This includes a £38.5billion (€45billion) investment from the European Commission’s Green Deal by 2027, as well as almost £250million for the installation of refuelling stations.
Thiebault Paquet, TME Vice President and Head of Fuel Cell Business, said: “Europe is showing long-term confidence in hydrogen and so are we.
“We will continue to develop fuel cell passenger cars and other light duty vehicles while we have broadened our focus towards heavy-duty transport to support the expansion of viable hydrogen infrastructure.
“We aim to further develop and learn through testing in our own network and with partners who share our approach.”
Paquet added that Toyota would maintain its position with passenger cars and heavier vehicles while acknowledging that other issues remain.
He said: “There are challenges with [hydrogen fuel cell] passenger cars – the bottleneck is infrastructure and availability – but we will not stop.
“There is a lot to research and we do not need to close doors. This is not black and white – we need to develop solutions for all customers.”
Toyota recently unveiled a hydrogen version of its popular Crown model which will come equipped with three high-pressure hydrogen tanks and a fuel cell.
It has been estimated that this will have an approximate range of 510 miles (820km), with drivers being able to refuel in just three minutes.
Toyota will also invest in the UK with the development of a hydrogen-powered Hilux pick-up truck, with the brand and other partners currently testing the vehicle.
Speaking at the Kenshiki Forum last week, Yoshihiro Nakata, president and CEO, Toyota Motor Europe, said: “We are not giving up on hydrogen…momentum is growing and we are receiving more and more inquiries about our technology and products.
“We need to collaborate with like-minded partners to establish a hydrogen society.”
The brand also announced plans to build cheaper batteries in less than three years, followed by the introduction of ultra-fast, solid-state batteries with a charging capability of 1,000 miles from 2027.
Over the coming years, Toyota plans to launch six new electric vehicles, beginning with a compact SUV which is set to debut next year.2023-12-05T14:29:08Z dg43tfdfdgfd