Toyota to supply truck maker Hyliko with H2 fuel cell modules

Refuelling station with Hyliko trucks (Photo: Toyota)

Toyota Motor Europe (TME) is to supply its second-generation hydrogen fuel cell (FC) modules to French startup Hyliko to support production of its zero-emission heavy-duty trucks.

Hyliko will offer two FC truck models, a 44-tonne tractor and a 26-tonne straight truck (available in 6x2 and 6x4 drivetrains). Each vehicle is fitted with two Toyota fuel cell modules.

The trucks will be available as part of a ‘hydrogen and trucks as a service’ package. Hyliko reports that it produces its own ‘supergreen’ hydrogen from biomass sourced within 100 km of the refuelling station.

This latest deal builds on the series of existing partnerships using TME’s fuel cell technology, which extends from trains and buses, through to gen sets and marine applications.

Toyota FC M2 module (Photo: Toyota)

TME puts forward that the lower mass of hydrogen systems allow a heavier payload, while fast refuelling supports higher vehicle utilisation.

In addition, usage patterns of commercial trucks support the development of related infrastructure needed to supply the hydrogen fuel.

The Japanese OEM is already working with a series of truck manufacturers to integrate their hydrogen fuel cell tech. In one such case, Toyota Motor North America and Kenworth Truck took part in the Zero- and Near-Zero Emissions Freight Facilities (ZANZEFF) ‘Shore to Store’ project, which served to prove out the like-for-like range capability of Class 8 diesel and fuel cell-powered trucks, while eliminating emissions.

The test pitted a diesel-powered truck against a Kenworth T680 FCEV – codenamed ‘Ocean’ – where the FCEVs ran multiple shifts per day with only 15 to 20 minute stops for fuel. The Ocean trucks reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 74.66 metric tonnes over the course of the test, when compared to diesel equivalents.

TME states that the partnership with Hyliko will help support development of a hydrogen ecosystem across Europe, stimulating both demand and supply of hydrogen fuel to create a viable fuel delivery business model. The end-goal is creation of hydrogen corridors, supporting low- and zero-emission goods transport across Europe.

Commenting on the tie up, Thiebault Paquet, vice president of Toyota Motor Europe R&D2 and head of Fuel Cell Business, said: “We are delighted to announce an agreement with Hyliko for the supply of our fuel cell modules. Hyliko is a dynamic start-up with a broad vision on hydrogen, as they plan to offer all the main components of an eco-cluster: a fuel cell truck, the supply of green hydrogen and a leasing and maintenance scheme.

“Having such a holistic and long-term view on the growth of a viable hydrogen ecosystem is necessary for business sustainability and to reassure investors. Together with partners like Hyliko, we will continue stimulating eco-clusters around Europe towards a larger hydrogen society, as one of the main building blocks to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040.”

Unveiling of Hyliko 44-tonne Hyvolution tractor (Photo: Toyota)

Ovarith Troeung, CEO of Hyliko, echoed the sentiment: “We are absolutely thrilled to partner with Toyota who will equip our first vehicles with its hydrogen technology. Renowned for their reliability and performance levels, Toyota fuel cell modules are key components in the design and construction of our new hydrogen trucks.

“Over and above our desire to develop clean, efficient vehicles for road freight transport, we are pursuing efforts to roll out the key components of our offer which includes leasing and maintenance of hydrogen trucks, and the supply of hydrogen fuel). We are keen on unveiling our new fuel cell truck in the near future to help achieve the decarbonisation goals of road freight transport, which is a key sector of our economy.”

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