Hydrogen fuel cell trucks to decarbonise Toyota logistics in Europe

Toyota Motor Europe (TME) has joined forces with the Dutch VDL Groep (VDL) to break into the market of zero-emission heavy-duty hydrogen trucks in Europe, using Toyota’s fuel cell technology. The cooperation aims to accelerate the decarbonisation of the road logistics sector, an important factor on meeting TME’s goals to achieve full carbon-neutral strategy by 2040.

The company sees significant potential in using hydrogen trucks to decarbonise its logistic routes. The lower mass of hydrogen systems allows for heavier payload and the fast refuelling of hydrogen is essential for transport with high utilisation. Hydrogen can refuel a truck as quickly as diesel and the usage patterns of trucks with their demand for larger volumes of hydrogen position them as key contributors in maturing sustainable infrastructures around key routes.

VDL Special Vehicles believes in a zero-emission future for medium and heavy-duty on- & offroad equipment. We are therefore extremely proud to work with Toyota Motor Europe on this innovative technology project, which will allow us to expand our activities in hydrogen drivelines.,” stated Hans Bekkers, Commercial Director VDL Special Vehicles

VDL Groep will build the first fuel cell truck based on a DAF Trucks cab, by the summer of 2023, followed by more vehicles to be produced and assessed on TME logistics routes in the autumn of 2023. The project will consolidate learnings on how to deploy fuel cell trucks, further supporting the company’s long-term vision of decarbonising logistics and reducing Toyota’s carbon footprint beyond the electrification of passenger vehicles.

Toyota Motor Corporation is continuing to collaborate with DAF Trucks parent PACCAR inc in Seattle in codeveloping hydrogen fuel cell powered heavy duty trucks.

We are excited to begin this project with VDL Groep, as it will allow us to further decarbonise the long-haul transport of our components, vehicles and service parts. Heavy-duty trucks will remain an important pillar within our multimodal strategy, and the introduction of zero-emission trucks, equipped with our Toyota fuel cell modules, will have a strong impact on the overall carbon reduction of our logistics,” added Leon Van Der Merwe, VP Supply Chain Toyota Motor Europe

Fuel cell trucks also have a key role in the growth of the wider European hydrogen ecosystem, strongly supporting transport decarbonization and an ecological energy transition. Heavy-duty vehicles are critical in generating a healthy supply and demand dynamic for hydrogen. The profitable feedback loop will stimulate the development of a sustainable infrastructure, while allowing other new mobility applications to emerge. The infrastructure for hydrogen trucks can simply be stretched to other  hydrogen vehicles that can use the same hydrogen refuelling stations. This new truck project is one of many that Toyota has recently put into place with multiple partners, including those for light commercial vehicles, boats, trains and buses, with the goal of accelerating the transition to a hydrogen economy.