Fueling the future

After thousands of miles of real-world testing in the harsh environment of commercial trucking, Toyota is preparing to further expand its portfolio approach to products by taking its ground-breaking hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric technology from prototypes to production in its efforts toward carbon neutrality


Starting in 2023, a dedicated line at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK) will begin assembling integrated dual fuel cell (FC) modules destined for use in hydrogen-powered, heavy-duty commercial trucks. The FC modules bring Toyota’s electrification strategy further into focus as it will allow truck manufacturers to incorporate emissions-free fuel cell electric technology into existing platforms with the technical support of Toyota under the hood.

“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.”

The dual fuel cell modules, which are a key component of an overall FC kit, weigh approximately 1,400 pounds and can deliver up to 160kW of continuous power. The FC kit also includes a high voltage battery, electric motors, transmission and hydrogen storage assembly from top-tier suppliers. Toyota will also offer its powertrain integration expertise that will help truck manufacturers adapt these emissions-free drivetrain systems to a wide variety of applications in the heavy-duty trucking sector.

“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.”