Toyota enters Class 8 electrification contest; plans to produce demo model of extended-range fuel-cell tractor next year

Toyota Hino Class 8 Electric Truck
Toyota Motor North America and Hino Trucks have agreed to jointly develop a Class 8 fuel-cell electric truck for the North American market, with plans to introduce a demo model during the first half of 2021. (Courtesy: Toyota Motor North America)

LONG BEACH, Calif. — With the rapidly expanding interest in heavy-duty electric trucks, Toyota Motor North America and Hino Trucks, have agreed to jointly develop a Class 8 fuel-cell electric truck for the North American market.

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“A fuel-cell-powered version of the Hino XL Series is a win-win for both customers and the community. It will be quiet, smooth and powerful while emitting nothing but water,” said Tak Yokoo, senior executive engineer for Toyota Research and Development. “Toyota’s 20-plus years of fuel-cell technology, combined with Hino’s heavy-duty truck experience will create an innovative and capable product.”

Hino Trucks, a Toyota Group company, assembles, sells and services a lineup of Class 4-8 diesel commercial trucks in the U.S.

The companies will leverage the newly developed Hino XL Series chassis with Toyota’s existing fuel-cell technology to deliver “exceptional capability without harmful emissions,” according to an Oct. 5 statement issued by Toyota. The collaboration expands on the companies’ existing effort to develop a 25-ton fuel-cell electric for the Japanese market, announced earlier this year. The initial demonstration vehicle is expected to arrive in the first half of 2021.

“Expanding upon our proud heritage of the Hino powertrain, Toyota fuel-cell technology offers our customers a commercially viable, extended-range, zero-emissions vehicle in the near term,” said Glenn Ellis, Hino’s senior vice president for customer experience. “Hino shares a common focus with Toyota when it comes to durability, reliability and innovation with the customer at the center of design, which makes this collaboration a game changer.”

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