Toyota Motor Europe (TME) and Dutch company VDL Groep (VDL) are teaming up to develop zero-emission heavy-duty hydrogen trucks in Europe, utilising Toyota’s fuel cell technology. 


Source: Toyota Motors Europe

This collaboration is aimed at accelerating the decarbonisation of the road logistics sector and is a significant step towards achieving TME’s carbon-neutral strategy by 2040.

Using hydrogen trucks to decarbonise logistics routes is a crucial step in achieving TME’s sustainability goals. The lower mass of hydrogen systems allows for heavier payloads, and the quick refuelling of hydrogen is essential for transport with high utilisation, says the company. Hydrogen can refuel a truck as quickly as diesel, and the usage patterns of trucks with their demand for larger volumes of hydrogen position them as key contributors in maturing sustainable infrastructures around key routes.

“VDL Special Vehicles believes in a zero-emission future for medium and heavy-duty on- and offroad equipment. We are therefore extremely proud to work with Toyota Motor Europe on this innovative technology project, which will allow us to expand our activities in hydrogen drivelines,” said Hans Bekkers, Commercial Director VDL Special Vehicles.

VDL Groep will build the first fuel cell truck by the summer of 2023, followed by more vehicles to be produced and assessed on TME logistics routes in the autumn of 2023. The project will consolidate learnings on how to deploy fuel cell trucks, further supporting the company’s long-term vision of decarbonising logistics and reducing Toyota’s carbon footprint beyond the electrification of passenger vehicles.


Source: Toyota Motors Europe

“We are excited to begin this project with VDL Groep, as it will allow us to further decarbonise the long-haul transport of our components, vehicles, and service parts. Heavy-duty trucks will remain an important pillar within our multimodal strategy, and the introduction of zero-emission trucks, equipped with our Toyota fuel cell modules, will have a strong impact on the overall carbon reduction of our logistics,” said Leon Van Der Merwe, VP Supply Chain Toyota Motor Europe.

Fuel cell trucks play a vital role in the growth of the wider European hydrogen ecosystem, strongly supporting transport decarbonisation and an ecological energy transition. Heavy-duty vehicles are critical in generating a healthy supply and demand dynamic for hydrogen, and this profitable feedback loop will stimulate the development of a sustainable infrastructure while allowing other new mobility applications to emerge. The infrastructure for hydrogen trucks can simply be stretched to other hydrogen vehicles that can use the same hydrogen refuelling stations.