Toyota Australia recently launched the Hydrogen HiAce, a hydrogen-fuelled van, and emphasized that hydrogen-powered internal combustion engines (ICE) are a more practical and affordable alternative to battery-electric powertrains for rural areas and long-distance driving. While electric vehicles (EVs) work well in cities and regional areas, Toyota aims to cater to the needs of Australians living in rural areas who require towing capabilities and high load-carrying capacities.
According to Sean Hanley, Toyota Australia’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, battery-electric vehicles are not suitable for everyone in the country. Hanley explained that if customers require a vehicle that can travel long distances and tow heavy loads, hydrogen vehicles are a better choice. While BEVs are becoming more affordable, they still tend to be relatively expensive.
The Hydrogen HiAce prototype van runs on compressed hydrogen gas and is equipped with a modified 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 engine. Hanley believes that hydrogen-powered combustion vehicles can provide a compelling reason both practically and financially. Toyota continues to invest in various powertrain technologies, including petrol-electric, plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV), fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV), and now hydrogen ICE.
However, the largest obstacle for hydrogen-powered vehicles remains the lack of refueling infrastructure. Hanley highlighted the need for collaboration between government, energy companies, and car manufacturers to develop a comprehensive plan and strategy for hydrogen infrastructure. Toyota hopes that with increased support, the infrastructure for hydrogen vehicles can be fast-tracked and provide consumers with more options.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- What is the Toyota Hydrogen HiAce?
- Why does Toyota believe hydrogen vehicles are better for towing and long-distance driving?
- What are the challenges for hydrogen-powered vehicles?
- What other powertrain technologies does Toyota invest in?
- Is Toyota developing a hydrogen-powered LandCruiser?
The Toyota Hydrogen HiAce is a van powered by a hydrogen-fuelled internal combustion engine.
Toyota believes that hydrogen vehicles offer higher load-carrying capacities and can travel longer distances compared to battery-electric vehicles.
The main challenge is the lack of refueling infrastructure for hydrogen vehicles.
Toyota invests in petrol-electric, plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV), fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV), and battery-electric vehicle (BEV) powertrains.
Yes, Toyota is currently studying the possibility of a hydrogen-fuelled LandCruiser as part of their hydrogen projects.