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. I am currently driving a Toyota Invincible with 145 thousand miles on the. My next vehicle will be the new hydrogen version of this vehicle, looking forward to that day.

    Michael Hulton.

  2. We are excited by the news of hydrogen’s development. We would like to receive updates on your progress.
    Our current fleet of company vehicles are Toyota carols commercial.
    We like to have hydrogen fo our next vehicles

    1. Hi Mike, thanks for your comment.

      We are happy to hear of your interest in the Hydrogen Hilux!

      For all updates, please keep an eye on the Mag and website.

      Thanks.

      1. Greetings,

        How is the developing progress of the HILUX? When is going to be available for fleet purchase?

      2. Hi Romulo,
        Unfortunately we do not have any further information to share on this at the moment.
        Thanks.

  3. Hurry up and get us a hydrogen CAR ! Presumably it will be cheaper to buy than electric cars as no heavy batteries…I have had many Toyotas and always been pleased with them and their reliability,

  4. I’ve had my Hilux for 13 years now and still love it. However, in the current environment where diesel is being discouraged, I find myself itching to get a hydrogen version. Please keep me updated!!

  5. This excites me as logically I think this is the best way forward without doubt. This is the news ive been waiting for, as a longtime loyal customer of Toyota, having owned Rav 4, Avensis as family cars and Hilux & an Import Toyota Hill Surf-Which I adored! I do think short term Petrol / Hybrid is the sensible way forward, but ultimately I see more future for Hydrogen than Plug in electric vehicles. The electric networks could not handle the extra load, the average person has no idea how much current one of these car chargers takes to charge a car in 8 Hours! 3 Years ago they were telling us to buy LED lamps to save the carbon footprints!

    1. Hi Mark, thanks for your comment.

      We are pleased to hear you are happy with the Hydrogen Hilux!

      Keep an eye on our website and mag for future updates!

      Thanks.

  6. I cant wait for Hydrogen cars, its got to be the UK future. It will be easy to install at filling stations and when we get Hydrogen heating there is no reason we that we cant harvest that, for filing our cars at home its got to be the future with electric just an interim. I for one cant wait for Hydrogen cars the country should be turning to this now as electric cars are failing.

  7. I would love to see this added to the Motability scheme. Currently there are very few suitable options for ambulant wheelchair users who require plentiful storage space and a comfortable ride. 🤞🤞

    1. Hi Helen, thanks for your interest in the Hydrogen Hilux!

      Your feedback is greatly appreciated and will be passed on to the relevant teams.

      Thanks.

  8. Having pioneered H2FC CHP in the UK (demonstration projects in 2004 and 2008), I have been an advocate of the fuel cell for decades.
    I have converted gas-guzzling 5.9-litre and 6.3-litre Bristol V8s to dual-fuel (petrol/LPG) to make them cheaper and cleaner to run, so alternative fuels and finding refilling stations doesn’t worry me.
    I tow a caravan. I cannot see EVs replace ICEs, but I think the HiLux FC will make a fantastic low-carbon tow-car. I’d like to be an early adopter of this technology.

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