Built on the foundations of a Hino Profia, the companies say they will optimise the truck’s chassis to package hybrid and hydrogen fuel-cell technology. The result will be a claimed 600km of zero-emissions driving range.
Toyota and Hino state that heavy-duty trucks account for approximately 60 per cent of total commercial vehicle CO2 emissions in Japan, and that the fuel-cell Profia will form part of the companies’ ‘Environmental Challenge 2050’ plans.
The sees both brands cut their average CO2 emissions from new vehicles by 90 per cent by 2050.
Above: A Toyota-designed hydrogen fuel-cell stack
In Australia, cars contribute the greatest amount of CO2 emissions of any vehicle class, with light trucks and vans coming in second and heavy trucks in third.
However, according to a 2019 Climate Analytics report, while cars are the largest contributor, they have only recorded a 25 per cent increase in CO2 emissions from 1990-2017.
In that same period, light trucks and vans’ emissions increased 93 per cent, while heavy trucks were up 109 per cent.
The idea of a zero-emissions heavy duty commercial vehicle is not a new one. In 2017, Tesla revealed its ‘Semi' electric model, with a claimed 800km of driving range.
While the fuel-cell Profia is still in a concept phase, don’t expect to see one freighting goods around Australia anytime soon.
In late 2019, Toyota claimed it was ready to bring hydrogen tech Down Under but was waiting for our infrastructure to catch up to its technology.