First hydrogen truck by VDL Groep using Toyota fuel cell modules is ready for pilot phase


Following the collaboration between Toyota Motor Europe and VDL Groep announced last May, the companies have now launched their first fuel cell demo truck. By integrating Toyota’s fuel cell technology into VDL heavy-duty trucks, Toyota aims to decarbonise its logistic operations in Europe.

This first demo truck will be used to perform road testing and evaluation of improvements towards the next steps of the project. VDL Groep is preparing four more fuel cell trucks, which will be used by Toyota’s logistic providers VOS Transport Group, CEVA, Groupe CAT and Yusen. These transportation companies will greatly contribute to the project by using the hydrogen trucks on their daily logistics routes passing by Belgium (Antwerp), France (Lille), Germany (Cologne), and the Netherlands (Amsterdam and Rotterdam). The four routes have at least one hydrogen refuelling station (HRS) each, including back-up solutions.

The cooperation between all parties is expected to consolidate the learnings on how to deploy fuel cell trucks on public roads and contribute to Europe’s ecological energy transition. The 5-year trial is expected to stimulate the further development of a sustainable hydrogen infrastructure across Europe meeting the AFIR requirements and allow for more carbon neutral hydrogen mobility solutions to emerge.

This project is complementing Toyota’s initiatives to decarbonise logistics and supporting their long-term goal to become fully carbon-neutral by 2040. Beyond the electrification of passenger cars, the company sees high value in collaborating with multiple partners to accelerate the transition to a sustainable and accessible zero-emission hydrogen economy. It is therefore partnering with companies from all mobility sectors and with different skills in order to test and provide reliable and efficient solutions.

About VDL Special Vehicles

VDL Special Vehicles is a specialist in the field of battery electric and hydrogen solutions for on- and off-road vehicles. As a contract manufacturer, we provide production capacity for small to medium-sized series of (parts of) zero-emission vehicles. In addition, we can also support in areas such as product development, prototyping, and certification of zero-emission drivelines, up to the extent of fully developing an alternative driveline for your application. VDL Special Vehicles enables its customers to Offer vehicle solutions that make the world a cleaner place. Our background lies in the development and production of chassis for buses and coaches in a variety of applications. It is because of this experience that we started developing zero-emission drivelines more than 20 years ago. This knowledge and experience have been used over the past two decades to develop various hydrogen and battery-electric solutions for medium and heavy road vehicles such as buses and trucks. Our engineering team is capable of integrating these and other solutions into existing third-party vehicles. Examples include construction, agricultural, port, or airport equipment. In addition, as a contract manufacturer, we offer third parties the opportunity to have their zero-emission vehicles produced in our facilities.

VDL Special Vehicles is part of the international, industrial family business VDL Groep, with its head office in the Eindhoven Brainport region, the Netherlands. It was founded in 1953 and now, 70 years later, the third Van der Leegte family generation has been at the group’s helm since 2017. VDL Groep has over 16,000 employees and operates in 19 countries. The group comprises more than 100 operating companies, each with its own specialism, working together intensively. The activities of these companies can be summarised in the ‘five worlds of VDL’: Science, Technology & Health, Mobility, Energy & Sustainability, Infratech and Foodtech. The combined annual revenue in 2022 amounted to €5.752 billion. Read more on