Toyota and Hino have been collaborating in development if environment friendly vehicles for more than a decade. The partnership started with the demonstration of a fuel cell powered bus in 2003. The two companies have come a long way since those early days. Both Toyota and Hino have set stringent targets for cutting the carbon footprint of their vehicles by 2050. One of the steps towards achieving that goal is the development of environment friendly heavy duty trucks.
The heavy duty trucks are used on highways and run on diesel. In Japan, they contribute about 60% of the CO2 released by transport vehicles. Hence, it important to find an environment friendly propulsion for these vehicles. However, the propulsion package should provide the vehicle with lower weight, so that it can carry more weight, it should have long range and also should be able to refuel quickly. The propulsion package which offers such practicality is the Hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks.
Toyota and Hino are developing a fuel cell powered heavy duty truck for highway duties based on the Hino Profia model. The model selected is the Hino Profia FR1AWHG. This truck has a capacity to carry 25 tonnes of cargo. It will be powered by an AC synchronous motor which will draw energy from twin Toyota Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Stacks. A Li-ion battery pack will be provided to take care of any surge demands.
Both the companies are developing special hydrogen tanks which can hold hydrogen at 70 MPa pressure and can be installed in the truck. These trucks will be 11,900 mm long, 2,490 mm wide and 3,780 mm tall and will have a range of 600 km on one charge of Hydrogen.
While the fuel cell has been developed by Toyota, the chassis, vehicle architecture is being developed by Hino. The company is working seriously at reducing weight of the vehicle in order to improve its load carrying capacity.