Diesel and trucks are synonymous with one another, but as the industry invests in making more zero-emissions vehicles, the truck segment might soon see sweeping changes. Fuso led the charge by rolling out the production version of the e-Canter electric truck. Isuzu will also produce a pure EV hauler soon too.
However, Toyota isn't taking things sitting down. Together with their truck division, Hino, the Japanese automaker has collaborated to develop an emissions-free truck. However, they will be taking a different route for it. Unlike Fuso and Isuzu, Toyota and Hino will go for fuel-cell or hydrogen power.
But there's more to it than that. Whereas its competitors are going for electric light-duty trucks, Toyota and Hino want to apply this tech on heavy-duty models such as 10-wheelers. The reason? According to the company, trucks of that size account for 60 percent of carbon dioxide emissions in Toyota and Hino's line-up.
The reason why they opted for hydrogen fuel cells and not pure electric is range. Because heavy-duty trucks typically travel long distances and carry heavy loads. Given that cargo weights affect range in electric vehicles, one can see why Toyota-Hino opted for this solution.
Hino will handle the engineering of the vehicle, which is based on the Profia truck. Toyota will then develop the powertrain, which consists of two fuel-cell stacks and will likely be a beefed-up version of the one used in the Mirai. Cruising range is expected to be at 600 kilometers, according to their figures.
Should this project prove to be a success, the future of trucking might just be a whole lot cleaner and quieter. It's been over a decade since Hino presented a fuel-cell vehicle and with the technological capabilities now, this latest concept might soon be a reality.