Beers, parcels and car parts are to be hauled emissions-free in a road test programme in Japan for a new hydrogen-fuelled heavy-duty truck.
Starting in Spring 2022, the tests will verify the feasibility of using fuel cells to reduce CO2 emissions in logistics and accelerate the commercial adoption of fuel cell trucks, contributing to the development of a sustainable society.
Businesses who have agreed to launch on-road trials of fuel cell trucks include Toyota, Ashai Group Holdings, Seino Transportation, NEXT Logisitcs Japan, Tamato Transport and Hino Motors.
Toyota and Hino are jointly developing heavy-duty fuel cell trucks; Asahi Group, NLJ, Seino Transportation, Yamato Transport and Toyota will perform the road trials as part of their logistics operations.
Asahi Group will load the trucks with beer and soft drinks produced at its Ibaraki Brewery and whisky, spirits, wine and other products from Asahi Breweries’ Heiwajima delivery centre.
The products will be unloaded at the NLJ Sagamihara Centre, with cargo from Kansai being retrieved and returned to the Ibaraki Brewery.
For Seino Transportation, cargo will be transported between the company’s Tokyo, Sagamihara and Odawara branches.
Yamato Transport will transport parcels and packages between the company’s Chronogate and Gunma hubs.
Toyota will transport parts between its plants in Aichi and the Toyota Tobishima Logistics Centre.
Heavy-duty fuel cell trucks used in highway transportation must have an adequate driving range and load capacity and allow for quick refuelling.
Fuel cell systems, which are powered by high-energy-density hydrogen, are believed to be effective for the electrification of this kind of vehicle.
The trucks under development are expected to have a target driving range of around 373 miles (600km).
The objective is to meet high standards of environmental performance and practicality as a commercial vehicle.