Toyota has fitted a hydrogen engine to a HiACE van which will be testing the technology on open roads in Australia.
Up until now, Toyota has made a name for itself in the field of motor racing with its hydrogen engine. We’ve already told you about the Corolla GR, which has been running in Japan since 2021 in the Super Taikyu championship (which ended this weekend in Fuji), and which has also raced at Le Mans and in Belgium. The brand will also be entering a hydrogen-powered buggy in the Dakar Rally next January. This vehicle is the result of a partnership with the Hyse consortium gathering motorbike manufacturers.
Transferring technology to the road
For the group, the hydrogen internal combustion engine is also an option for the road. This is why a test began in October and will continue until January 2024. It is being carried out in the suburbs of Melbourne. Toyota’s press release states that the vehicle is being tested by a construction company and another specialising in safety. This will be an opportunity for Toyota to see how the hydrogen-powered van performs on a daily basis, in terms of reliability and practicality.
It should be noted that the HiACE will use gaseous hydrogen, whereas the Corolla GR runs on liquid hydrogen. Toyota also presented a Cross Corolla prototype that could eventually be the forerunner of a model derived from the racing car.
Pending a possible series production application, racing remains a test bench for the hydrogen engine and alternative fuels. It is worth noting that Toyota lined up another Corolla powered by a carbon-neutral fuel at Fuji this weekend. The Japanese manufacturer also believes in e-fuels.
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Article written by Laurent Meillaud and translated by Logan King