Hydrogen Hilux: British-built prototype revealed

Hydrogen Hilux

The debut of our fully functioning hydrogen Hilux prototype provides a further demonstration of the breadth of technologies Toyota is applying in its progress towards carbon-free mobility. Hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid electric, battery electric and fuel cell electric – all solutions are being explored to best suit different user needs and operating environments worldwide.

The ground-breaking hydrogen Hilux was revealed at our Burnaston car plant in Derby, where Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK (TMUK) had been leading the project with its consortium partners, supported by UK government funding administered through the Advanced Propulsion Centre.

Hydrogen Hilux

“I congratulate the project team for their success on this cutting-edge development. This is a great vote of confidence in UK manufacturing and its potential to deliver carbon-free vehicles to meet future emissions targets.”

Nusrat Ghani, Minister for Industry and Economic Security

Hydrogen Hilux: vehicle profile

The new powertrain uses core elements from the Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell electric saloon – technology that has proved its quality in almost ten years of commercial production. When driven, the fuel cell produces no tailpipe emissions other than pure water.

Hydrogen Hilux

Three high-pressure fuel tanks are used, giving the Hilux an expected driving range of more than 365 miles – significantly further than might be achieved with a battery electric system. The battery, which stores electricity produced on-board by the fuel cell, is positioned in the rear load deck, avoiding loss of cabin space.

“The Toyota Hilux project is a fantastic example of collaborative R&D which has designed, integrated, and delivered a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. Seeing [it] launch within a year of the start of the project is a clear demonstration of the capabilities and strengths of the UK’s automotive supply chain.”

Ian Constance, chief executive of the Advanced Propulsion Centre

Project history

The hydrogen Hilux project began in early 2022 with a feasibility study undertaken by TMUK and Toyota Motor Europe with consortium partners Ricardo, ETL, D2H and Thatcham Research. Funding was subsequently gained from the UK government facilitated through the Advanced Propulsion Centre. Additional support was also provided by Toyota Motor Corporation.

An intense design and development programme commenced in July 2022. But it wasn’t until June 2023 that construction of the prototype actually began, with work taking place in a dedicated area within TMUK’s Burnaston facility. Using efficient Toyota Production System principles, the first vehicle was completed just three weeks later. A further nine vehicles are scheduled to be built by the end of 2023.

“The project team has accomplished an incredible job in a very short space of time. The UK government funding has enabled us not only to develop a new vehicle in record time but also to up-skill our teams to work on hydrogen-related technologies, something we hope to build on in the future.”

Richard Kenworthy, managing director of TMUK

These hydrogen Hilux prototypes were designed to deliver the same qualities of durability and reliability that have made the pick-up a global icon of the Toyota brand. To guarantee this, the models will undergo rigorous testing around the world to ensure they meet the high standards of a production model bearing the Hilux name.

Hydrogen Hilux

The project has enabled TMUK members to develop and apply new skills relating to fuel cell electrified vehicles and hydrogen system components. The consortium members have also played key roles in the initial phase of the programme.

Learn more: How do hydrogen fuel cells work?

This article, originally published in December 2022, was updated in September 2023 to reflect the latest project developments.

36 comments

  1. Great project, I’m looking forward to seeing this zero emission vehicle. I’ve a 2022 Hilux and would buy one of these as soon as available

    1. Hi David,
      Thanks for your comment.
      Please keep an eye on our blog and social media channels for the latest information on our vehicle offerings.
      Thanks.

      1. If the infrastructure was there I would buy a Mirai. I have just bought a new Camry and love it.
        So please push to get hydrogen in our filling stations. Toyota Uk said this would be done by 2019 when the Mirai was launched in 2015.

  2. In my opinion, Toyota’s hydrogen strategy is absolutely right.
    Companies that invest only in batteries will later find out that they were wrong.

  3. Very impressed. If you’re looking for a trialist then I’m your man. I have a farm in Cornwall with a 3 phase off grid (solar and wind) renewable set-up. I also draw water from a natural spring.
    It might make a nice test case for you to show a fully green solution by producing green hydrogen on the farm and then using it in a pick-up.
    Let me know 🙂

  4. I assume or do so hopefully, all you need to do is fill her up with water 💦 and then electrolysis separates the water to hydrogen gas and away you go? 🤔 It’s about time have been saying for years this is what needs to be done! But the government doesn’t like it because of all the fuel revenues! 😉 I have a diesel hilux and if this is anything to go by then bring it on! 😁

  5. I’ve got a 2021 Hilux invincible, which is my first Toyota and pickup. I just love this vehicle and brand.
    I would buy a hydrogen pick up in a heartbeat, when available.

  6. I heard about this in Farmers’ Weekly. Thank goodness that the agricultural sector is pushing forward with a practical alternative to diesel. I’m no farmer but hydrogen rather than electric is what I’ll need to power my 4×4. Toyota et al, keep going with this. Imagine, water powered fire engines!

  7. That’s great news, any chance of being on the list for one of these units.
    When and where are the test days on for them in the UK ?
    Keep up the great work Toyota, become the leader and not the follower.

    1. Hi Brendon, thanks for your interest.

      We have no information on this at the moment. Please keep an eye on our blog and social media channels for the latest updates.

      Thanks.

    1. Hi, thanks for your question.

      Our Technical Team have advised that it’s not something we recommend, as our vehicles have only been approved to use those fuels mentioned in the Owners Manual.

      Thanks.

      1. Strange!! I read something in the press that the 2023 model year would be compatible
        It’s available wholesale from some fuel companies for fleet use and at some pumps in Europe..

      2. Thanks, so is it just the European spec that can run on HVO ? As per Toyota EU press release?
        They say the pro ace range are compatible now and the land cruiser and Hilux 1st quarter of 2023 production

  8. I spent over 30 years in the motor industry and for the last 20 of those the Toyota brand stood out for reliability and low maintenance. I left the industry in 2008 and am now just retired but have kept an eye on the brand and the work in Hybrid self charging technology is market leading. I drive a 2020 Hilux Invincible and love every mile. Can’t wait to see the Hydrogen model on the road.

    1. Hi Fred, thank you for your feedback.

      We appreciate your kind words and loyalty to Toyota. We look forward to seeing what the future has in store for hydrogen as well!

      Many thanks.

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