Isuzu Motors Ltd., Toyota Motor Corporation, Hino Motors Ltd., and the Commercial Japan Partnership Technologies Corporation (CJPT) are all planning to promote the development of mass-market light-duty fuel cell electric trucks. The companies announced that they would all jointly plan and develop electric trucks powered by fuel cell technology. Hydrogen is the fuel source for fuel cell vehicles, which have zero emissions and could be the new fuel of the future.
As a carbon-neutral fuel, hydrogen emits no greenhouse gasses, and there are multiple powertrains that include HEVs, BEVs, and FCEVs, the best of which depends on a customer’s use case.
Light-duty trucks are often used for supermarkets and convenience stores, or fast-moving consumer goods. These stores support people’s daily lives and often require relatively light logistical solutions with refrigeration and freezing functions as required. These trucks also drive long distances and hours depending on the delivery, and may even be called for another operation on the same day. Fast refueling is also a must, and charging time can cut into operating schedules, hence the viability of hydrogen as a green fuel.
Fuel Cell or FC technology can be used to power trucks and it has zero carbon emissions which could be the next big fuel of the future. CJPT will be responsible for planning the joint development of mass-market light-duty FC electric trucks. Isuzu, Hino, and Toyota will join forces with CJPT in order to pool together the companies’ knowledge, while Toyota will lend a large part of its research into FC technologies that can perform and be green at the same time.
According to the press release, the new mass-market light-duty trucks will be introduced into the market by January 2023, and they will be used by the partners at actual distribution sites in the Fukushima Prefecture, and Tokyo social implementation projects.
Hydrogen trucks present an opportunity for companies to retain the uptime of their vehicles while being carbon-neutral at the same time. All the companies mentioned will also promote sustainable and practical initiatives toward the widespread use of light-duty FC electric trucks and hydrogen.