Toyota in the UK has revealed its first HiLux ute prototype with a hydrogen fuel-cell (FCEV) powertrain, one of a total of 10 examples that will be produced this year.

    The Toyota HiLux FCEV prototype was first announced earlier this year and is a part of a joint project with consortium partners Ricardo, ETL, D2H Advanced Technologies and Thatcham Research.

    The Japanese carmaker had secured £11.3 million (~A$22.3 million) in funding for the project from automotive industry-led Advanced Propulsion Centre. This money includes £5.6 million (~A$11 million) from the UK Government.

    All the HiLux FCEV prototypes will be produced at Toyota’s manufacturing plant in Burnaston, UK.

    The HiLux FCEV prototype retains its rugged ladder-frame chassis and uses a space-cab pickup body. It’s powered by “core elements” from the Toyota Mirai FCEV sedan.

    Three high-pressure hydrogen tanks are slotted between the two chassis rails which carry up to 141 litres of 5.6kg of hydrogen.

    This feeds into a 330-cell solid polymer electrolyte fuel-cell stack mounted under the bonnet, which generates electricity by combining the stored hydrogen with atmospheric oxygen.

    A hybrid-sized 1.2kWh lithium-ion battery stores excess energy from the fuel cell, as well as energy recovered from regenerative braking.

    At the back there’s an electric motor producing 134kW of power and 300Nm, which drives the rear wheels only.

    Toyota claims the HiLux FCEV prototype has an expected driving range of more than 587km (365 miles).

    The Japanese carmaker hasn’t detailed any further information about the HiLux FCEV prototype at this stage.

    The first 10 examples of the HiLux FCEV will undergo “rigorous testing around the world” to ensure safety, dynamic performance, functionality and durability meet the standards required of a production model.

    At this stage it’s unclear if Toyota plans to sell or lease the FCEV utes. It’s also unknown how much they will cost.

    Beyond the HiLux FCEV protoype, Toyota has also recently revealed a concept electric version of the long-bed HiLux Revo sold in Thailand.

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    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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