State NPO Advanced Propulsion Center will finance a new project by Toyota Motor, which involves the creation of a hydrogen version of the Hilux pickup truck using a power plant from the second-generation Mirai sedan.
APC already has one such project. In 2021 (the same year Toyota applied for funding), plans were announced to create a fuel cell Land Rover Defender, but the project was delayed: the first running prototype was ready only in September 2022 – nine months later than originally planned.
Hydrogen Hilux will also be developed by the British – targeted funds will be received by the regional division of Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK.
The Ricardo company was connected to the project, which will be responsible for the introduction of a hydrogen plant into the Highlax design. The cooling system under the project will be developed by European Thermodynamics, and the calculations in the field of thermodynamics will be carried out at the facilities of the D2H Group. Finally, Thatcham Research will be responsible for improving the safety of the hydrogen pickup in the event of an accident.
Assembly of a trial batch of eco-friendly Hilux at the Toyota Motor plant in Burnaston will begin in 2023. Toyota announced plans to start small-scale production if the model successfully passes sea trials.
Britain is one of the main markets for Toyota pickups, and the Japanese intend to maintain their leading position even after the entry into force of the ban on the sale of passenger cars with internal combustion engines in 2030.