Fuel cell commercial vehicles: Toyota jointly develops FC systems with major Chinese OEMs

Plans of Honda & Isuzu, Hyundai Motor, Daimler & Volvo and Nikola Motor



Fuel cell heavy-duty truck developed by Toyota in collaboration with U.S. truck manufacturer Kenworth Trucks, Inc. (Source: Toyota)

  This report covers some of the recent trends in commercial vehicles equipped with fuel cells.

  With respect to electrified vehicles, hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles have significant advantages over pure EVs, advantages such as greater driving ranges and shorter refueling times, but their widespread adoption is being hindered by high prices and the scarcity of hydrogen refueling station infrastructure.

  As a market leader in FC (fuel cell) vehicles, Toyota has been selling the large capacity SORA hydrogen fuel cell bus in Japan since 2018. In June 2020, Toyota announced that it had signed a joint venture agreement to develop fuel cell systems for commercial vehicles, establishing a coalition with five Chinese companies including FAW. In addition, Toyota is already supplying fuel cell parts to bus makers in China such as Foton Motor.
  Also, Toyota started operating a heavy-duty fuel cell truck jointly developed with U.S. truck manufacturer Kenworth in the fall of 2019 and developed a semi-tractor-trailer head unit. It also plans to develop a heavy-duty fuel cell truck in collaboration with Hino.

  Honda and Isuzu also plan to jointly develop a heavy-duty fuel cell truck.

  In July 2020, Hyundai Motor shipped 10 heavy-duty fuel cell trucks to Switzerland. It plans to export 50 units by the end of 2020 and a total of 1,600 units by 2025.

  In Europe, Daimler and Volvo announced in April 2020 that they will jointly develop fuel cell systems for heavy-duty trucks. Daimler plans to use EV systems for light trucks and fuel cell vehicles for heavy-duty truck applications. As for passenger cars, Daimler will not develop fuel cell vehicles in the future, but instead promote the adoption of EVs.

  In the U.S., emerging vehicle manufacturer Nikola Motor is developing Class 8 hydrogen fuel-cell electric heavy-duty trucks and pickup trucks. Bosch is supporting the development, including the supply of the fuel cell stacks, which are being co-developed with PowerCell of Sweden.


Related reports: 
Technology Trends Related to the Electrification of Heavy Vehicles (trucks and buses) (Jun. 2020) 
Smart Energy Week 2020: 16th Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Expo (Mar. 2020)
FC EXPO 2019: Strategies of OEMs towards the widespread adoption of FCVs (Apr. 2019)