Toyota Trialing Hydrogen HiAce, Powered by LandCruiser 300’s Twin-Tubo V6

Alexi Falson

Toyota has announced details of its upcoming pilot program that will see a hydrogen-powered HiAce put to the test here in Australia as Toyota continues to explore alternatives to petrol, diesel and battery-powered vehicles.

Toyota says that the hydrogen-powered HiAce concept will undergo a customer pilot program later this month, where it will be driven on Aussie road conditions by Aussie companies looking for an ultra-low-emissions commercial vehicle and able to offer up their feedback shortly after. Toyota’s customer drive program allows companies to offer up their direct feedback to the manufacturer, with the aim of bringing hydrogen-fueled internal combustion vehicles to a mass produced reality.

The company says the HiAce was selected specifically for its unique packaging, allowing engineers to install the powertrain up front and fit the three hydrogen tanks underneath the floor for minimal impact on interior space.The HiAce also got the nod because it’s known as a ‘back to base’ type of commercial vehicle that typically heads out for short hops from a distribution hub to the city for a round of deliveries and then back to base.

Interestingly, the HiAce in question ditches the typical 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel in favour of the LandCruiser 300’s ‘F33A-FTV’ 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 unit that has been modified to run on compressed hydrogen using a revised direct-injection system.Are a result, power and torque figures are down significantly on the LandCruiser’s 227kW/700Nm figures, with the HiAce hydrogen concept kicking out 120kW of power and 354Nm of torque to the rear wheels via the same ten-speed automatic you’ll find in the ‘Cruiser.

Toyota says the onboard hydrogen tanks are similar to those installed in the second-gen Mirai sedan, with the company looking to fast-track the real-world testing of its hydrogen-powered ICE unit for a potential deployment to other members of its ranks.“This technology offers the potential for Toyota to produce vehicles that meet the practical requirements of commercial customers while dramatically reducing CO2 tailpipe emissions,” says Toyota Australia Chief, Matthew Callachor.

“Running the pilot program for this new hydrogen powertrain technology builds upon our substantial development and investment in the hydrogen space,” he added.

“Toyota is firmly committed to playing a leading role in the development of Australia’s hydrogen economy,” Callachor concluded.

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