Toyota Motor Europe (TME) has joined forces with the Dutch VDL Groep (VDL) to break into the market of zero-emission heavy-duty hydrogen trucks in Europe, using Toyota’s fuel cell technology. The cooperation aims to accelerate the decarbonisation of the road logistics sector, an important factor on meeting TME’s goals to achieve full carbon-neutral strategy by 2040.

The company sees significant potential in using hydrogen trucks to decarbonise its logistic routes. The lower mass of hydrogen systems allows for heavier payload and the fast refuelling of hydrogen is essential for transport with high utilisation. Hydrogen can refuel a truck as quickly as diesel and the usage patterns of trucks with their demand for larger volumes of hydrogen position them as key contributors in maturing sustainable infrastructures around key routes.

VDL Groep will build the first fuel cell truck by the summer of 2023, followed by more vehicles to be produced and assessed on TME logistics routes in the autumn of 2023. The project will consolidate learnings on how to deploy fuel cell trucks, further supporting the company’s long-term vision of decarbonising logistics and reducing Toyota’s carbon footprint beyond the electrification of passenger vehicles.

Fuel cell trucks also have a key role in the growth of the wider European hydrogen ecosystem, strongly supporting transport decarbonization and an ecological energy transition. Heavy-duty vehicles are critical in generating a healthy supply and demand dynamic for hydrogen. The profitable feedback loop will stimulate the development of a sustainable infrastructure, while allowing other new mobility applications to emerge. The infrastructure for hydrogen trucks can simply be stretched to other  hydrogen vehicles that can use the same hydrogen refueling stations. This new truck project is one of many that Toyota has recently put into place with multiple partners, including those for light commercial vehicles, boats, trains and buses, with the goal of accelerating the transition to a hydrogen economy.

Source: Toyota Motor Europe