In line with its mission of “Producing Happiness for All”, which seeks to contribute towards establishing a ‘future-proofed’ sustainable society that is in harmony with nature, Toyota has been developing green and clean technologies promoting sustainability across regions. Being pioneers in electrified and other green vehicle technologies, the company strives to offer an array of electrified and alternate fuel vehicles to minimize CO2 emissions by taking into consideration the energy generation, infrastructure readiness, and consumer adoption of each country/region. Further, globally Toyota is committed to Carbon Neutrality by 2050 and aims to achieve Net Carbon Zero in Manufacturing Operations by 2035.
Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) are powered by hydrogen which produces no tailpipe emissions, being the cleanest fuel. Green hydrogen is generated from renewable energy sources and can provide storage requirements for solar and wind energy which is critical for their rapid take-off at a greater scale. Hydrogen has higher energy density over batteries, can store energy for a longer duration, and is portable, thus making it an excellent energy carrier for diverse applications. With these advantages, hydrogen can play a significant role in our country’s goal of achieving energy self-reliance and mitigating carbon emissions.
On a broader perspective, Toyota continues to focus on hydrogen technology and promotion of the fuel cell module usage across various sectors to enhance wider adoption and achieve scalability. The hydrogen fuel cell module provides an energy source to serve various applications which is essentially the key to realize competitiveness and creation of future sustainable hydrogen society. Further to achieve zero CO2 emissions in more challenging applications such as trucks and heavy transport, trains, buses, aviation, shipping, forklifts, and industrial processes, hydrogen will play an important role. Towards this direction, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) today announced the supply of its Fuel Cell Module (one unit) to Ashok Leyland to build the fuel-cell commercial vehicle in India for proto examination and feasibility study purpose.
When it comes to hydrogen-based electrified vehicle technology, the fuel cell module is the heart that powers the hydrogen-electric power train. Toyota given its strong technological capabilities intends to move forward in sure-footed steps to promote and enhance the use of fuel-cell modules in India, to develop zero-carbon emission vehicles.
Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell-based technology can help enable a faster shift away from fossil fuels, promoting renewable energy, achieving energy self-reliance, and mitigating carbon emissions. Moreover, given India’s energy mix, its unique consumer profile and needs, infrastructure readiness, and the Government’s diversified efforts towards becoming ‘Atma Nirbhar’ in energy by 2047, Toyota is advancing mobility solutions with greater agility, thereby introducing, and supporting multiple clean technology pathways by joining hands with other stakeholders with mutual interest and aim to contribute to our nation’s carbon neutral targets.
Commenting on this clean mobility initiative, Mr. Sudeep S. Dalvi, Senior Vice President and Chief Communication Officer of Toyota Kirloskar Motor, said “We are extremely happy to supply Hydrogen Fuel Cell Module to Ashok Leyland for building Fuel Cell Commercial Vehicles for proto examination and feasibility study purpose. Reducing tailpipe emissions and carbon footprint has always been extremely important for us at Toyota and we are also committed to contribute towards the national target of energy self-reliance. Globally, the energy industry is working on the technological innovations of carbon-neutral fuels such as hydrogen and biofuels. Through this initiative, we hope to promote wider use of hydrogen as a fuel which can help to create a hydrogen society in harmony with nature.”
The Government of India announced the National Hydrogen Mission (NHM) in the Union Budget for 2021-2022. NHM has drawn a road map for the usage of hydrogen as an energy source. This mission aims to push for the implementation of hydrogen energy that will drive the country in the right direction of making the best out of the renewable energy sector. Aligning with this, Toyota is enhancing its technological strengths to capitalize on the most abundant elements on earth for a better, safer, and cleaner alternative fuel option.
Toyota provides products that inspire customers to think, “this is practical to use” based on a sustainable and realistic approach. Based on the idea that cleaner vehicles contribute to the environment only when they come into widespread use, TKM are continually enhancing the line-ups of electrified vehicles (recent offerings of strong hybrid electric vehicles as Urban Cruiser Hyryder and Innova Hycross) and conduct pilot studies of alternate fuel-based vehicle technologies (such as Mirai and Flex-Fuel Strong Hybrid Electric Mobility) to promote awareness on sustainable mobility.
Talking on this move, Dr. N. Saravanan, Chief Technology Officer of Ashok Leyland, said “Ashok Leyland is excited to collaborate with Toyota Kirloskar Motor to bring their globally renowned and proven fuel cell module system to the commercial vehicle sector in India. Ashok Leyland’s track record in bringing innovative and differentiated products combined with Toyota’s technology leadership in fuel cells has created a massive opportunity to conduct proto examination and feasibility study towards decarbonizing both goods and people transportation.”
The fuel cell electric vehicles use a propulsion system like that of electric vehicles, where energy stored as hydrogen is converted to electricity by the fuel cell. These FCEV are fuelled with pure hydrogen gas stored in a tank. Similar to conventional internal combustion engine vehicles, FCEVs are equipped with other advanced technologies to increase efficiency, such as regenerative braking systems that capture the energy lost during braking and store it in a battery.
Globally, Toyota is implementing various initiatives to realize a hydrogen society, promoting fuel cell utilization for commercial vehicles, and increasing industrial uses. Toyota FC Modules are used by Commercial OEMs to manufacture FC Truck, FC Bus in Japan, Europe, China, North America, and presently in India.