RICARDO SUPPORTS TOYOTA WITH LAUNCH OF ITS FIRST UK-BASED PROTOTYPE HYDROGEN LIGHT COMMERCIAL VEHICLE
Following support from Ricardo, Toyota, alongside the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), has successfully launched this innovative hydrogen prototype for the UK light commercial vehicles market. .
Ricardo has supported the launch of Toyota’s first UK-designed and built prototype hydrogen fuel cell electric-powered light commercial vehicle.
In partnership with the APC – through which the UK Government has provided funding for the project -Ricardo has been working with Toyota to develop a Hilux hydrogen variant that is the first of its kind. The prototypes have been manufactured and assembled at Toyota’s Derby-based facility. The launch is a significant milestone in the project, enabling the business to undertake physical test, capability and feasibility studies in the coming months.
Ricardo’s role in the project has been to ensure seamless integration of the hydrogen fuel cell, fuel storage system and controls. This includes design, analysis and validation across all prototype vehicles. Ricardo was chosen as a partner by Toyota due to its proven experience and capabilities in applying advanced propulsion technologies across a wide variation of vehicles, in the automotive, aerospace and marine sectors as well as for its expertise in hydrogen fuel cell integration.
The hydrogen fuel cell integration enables efficient operation of all vehicle systems to give excellent vehicle range, longevity and reliability which are the norm for the world-renowned Hilux. Following an initial concept study, Ricardo developed a design to apply existing hydrogen fuel cell and fuel storage systems to the prototype. Ricardo also worked to develop and procure parts from a UK supply base, as well as from a range of suppliers in Japan and Europe. In parallel with the mechanical design and build, Ricardo has developed a gateway controller to link the vehicle and propulsion control systems.
While continuing to work as part of a consortium of businesses, Ricardo will now concentrate on delivering the test and analysis stage of the project, including vehicle performance and fuel economy, safety, durability, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC); noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), braking and ride handling. This testing will provide valuable data to understand the behaviour of the fuel cell electric vehicle under a wide range or real-world operating conditions which will be used to lead future designs.