Toyota announces that the company is working with the U.K. government to develop a hydrogen fuel-cell (HFC) electric Toyota Hilux pickup truck. Toyota is no stranger to the hydrogen fuel-cell electric powertrain. Toyota introduced a production HFC Mirai sedan for the 2015 model year. Why not offer a Toyota Tacoma HFC or Tundra HFC for the U.S. market? We will have to wait and see. One of the major obstacles is the lack of hydrogen refueling infrastructure.
Toyota has deployed HFC semi-trucks for fleet use in California. California has the vast majority of hydrogen refueling stations in the United States at this time. The benefits of hydrogen fuel-cell propulsion include quick refueling (similar to gasoline refueling), all-electric drive, and distilled water as a byproduct or exhaust. Things working against HFC production vehicles are the energy that is required to produce hydrogen fuel in the first place and the cost of the onboard HFC propulsion system.
General Motors, BMW, Hyundai, and other major manufacturers have been developing and selling hydrogen fuel-cell propulsion or power generation systems for some time. Will HFC vehicles take over where the current battery-electric vehicles are today? There is still a long way to go.
We recently tested a new 2022 Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell electric sedan. Here is what we love and hate about it.