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After Toyota's Mirai, the Japanese auto giant zeroes in on buses and heavy-duty trucks

One among Toyota’s Sora busess photographed in Japan on Nov. 5, 2021. Toyota began engaged on the event of fuel-cell automobiles again in 1992.

Korekore | Istock Editorial | Getty Photographs

Toyota Motor Europe, CaetanoBus and Air Liquide have signed an settlement associated to the event of hydrogen-based transport choices, because the race to develop low and zero-emission automobiles heats up.

In a press release Tuesday, Toyota mentioned the deal would goal for what it known as “nearer cooperation in growing alternatives for hydrogen mobility initiatives in a number of European international locations.” CaetanoBus relies in Portugal and a part of Toyota Caetano Portugal and Mitsui & Co.

The corporations are set to deal with a lot of areas associated to hydrogen, together with infrastructure related to distribution and refueling; low-carbon and renewable hydrogen manufacturing; and deploying hydrogen in a variety of auto varieties.

Toyota mentioned the preliminary focus could be on “buses, gentle business automobiles and vehicles, with an extra goal to speed up the heavy-duty truck phase.”

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Toyota began engaged on the event of fuel-cell automobiles — the place hydrogen from a tank mixes with oxygen, producing electrical energy — again in 1992. In 2014, it launched the Mirai, a hydrogen gas cell sedan. The enterprise says its gas cell automobiles emit “nothing however water from the tailpipe.”

Alongside the Mirai, Toyota has had a hand within the growth of bigger hydrogen gas cell automobiles. These embody a bus known as the Sora and prototypes of industrial quality vans. In addition to gas cells, Toyota can also be taking a look at utilizing hydrogen in inside combustion engines.

Whereas the Japanese automotive large seems to be to push forward with plans for automobiles that use hydrogen — corporations like Hyundai and BMW are additionally taking a look at hydrogen — different influential voices within the automotive sector are usually not so certain.

In June 2020, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted “gas cells = idiot sells,” including in July of that yr: “hydrogen fool sells make no sense.”

In Feb. 2021, Herbert Diess, the CEO of Germany’s Volkswagen Group, additionally weighed in on the topic. “It’s time for politicians to accept science,” he tweeted.

“Inexperienced hydrogen is required for metal, chemical, aero … and mustn’t find yourself in vehicles. Far too costly, inefficient, gradual and tough to roll out and transport. In spite of everything: no #hydrogen vehicles in sight.”

Whereas Diess and Musk would look like cautious in the case of hydrogen’s prospects in vehicles, their deal with battery electrical automobiles places them in direct competitors with different corporations like GM and Ford.

The latter’s CEO, Jim Farley, not too long ago mentioned his enterprise deliberate to “problem Tesla and all comers to change into the highest EV maker on this planet.”

The drive to seek out zero and low emission options to diesel and gasoline comes at a time when main economies are laying out plans to scale back the environmental footprint of road-based transportation.

In Europe, as an example, the European Fee, the EU’s govt arm, has proposed a 100% discount in CO2 emissions from vehicles and vans by 2035.  

On Tuesday, Ford Europe, Volvo Automobiles and a lot of different high-profile companies signed a joint letter asking EU governments and the European Parliament to provide the Fee’s proposal the inexperienced gentle.

The letter known as on EU authorities representatives and MEPs to “put in place an EU-wide phase-out for gross sales of latest inside combustion engine passenger vehicles and vans (together with hybrids) no later than 2035.”

“This must be enshrined into laws by setting the 2035 fleet-wide CO2 goal at 0 gram CO2/km for car producers,” the letter mentioned.

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