To maximise the opportunities for hydrogen in Europe, Toyota Motor Europe (TME) has established a Fuel Cell Business Group to oversee its hydrogen activities across the region.

Based in Brussels, it will strengthen the business case for hydrogen and support its introduction into mobility and other fields, making it accessible to new commercial partners. This will support the company’s long-term sustainability strategy.

Speaking at Toyota’s Kenshiki forum, Thiebault Paquet, director of the fuel cell group said: “The benefits of hydrogen are clear. That’s why we expect our global sales of fuel cell systems to increase by a factor of 10 in the short term, and why we have dramatically increased our production capacity.”

Toyota is at the forefront of hydrogen technology innovation, having introduced Mirai, the world’s first commercialised hydrogen fuel cell electric saloon, in 2014. Honda and Hyundai are among rivals to also put hydrogen cars into production.

Since the original Mirai, development of the Toyota fuel cell system has continued, making it more compact, lighter, and yet also more energy dense. In 2021, the comprehensively improved system will debut in the next generation Mirai.

Toyota’s technology has the flexibility to be used to produce zero-emission power in multiple applications. It is already powering trucks, urban bus fleets, fork lifts and generators. Tests are also under way for use in boats and trains.

To accelerate hydrogen’s widespread take-up, Toyota will focus on hydrogen clusters or eco systems in European centres where a local infrastructure is supporting transport fleets and mobility services. It believes activity like this will drive demand for hydrogen, bringing down costs and strengthening the viability of the supply infrastructure, which in turn will attract more customers.

Through the new fuel cell group, Toyota will work closely with industry partners, national and regional governments and organisations to stimulate the development of hydrogen eco-systems in more locations.