Hydrogen fuel cell truck demonstration testing kicks off for Isuzu and Honda

Hydrogen fuel cell truck demonstration testing kicks off for Isuzu and Honda

January 2, 2024 0 By John Max

The two companies officially started the test on public roads in Japan.

Isuzu and Honda started the real-world testing of their hydrogen fuel cell truck, called the GIGA FUEL CELL, a prototype fuel cell-powered heavy-duty truck that the companies are currently developing together.

The test is scheduled to run from December 2023 through to September of this year.

The real-world demonstration of the hydrogen fuel cell truck marks a huge step toward Isuzu and Honda’s 2027 H2 truck market launch, with a goal to revolutionize heavy-duty transport with clean, emission-free tech.

The purpose of the demonstration testing, which is currently underway on public roads in Japan in the Kanto region (Tochigi, Saitama, Tokyo, and Kanagawa prefectures), is for the companies to verify the potential of using hydrogen fuel, the practicality (e.g., cargo handling and public road driving) and vehicle operation management (e.g., hydrogen refueling) of fuel cell trucks.

They will use the testing to continue making progress in collecting data, gathering knowledge and identifying any technical issues in preparation for the 2027 market launch.

The GIGA FUEL CELL prototype that is being used for the demonstration testing is the same model as the one Isuzu Group had on display at its boot at the Japan Mobility Show 2023. The testing will continue until September 2024.

Hydrogen fuel cell trucks are the answer to achieving carbon neutrality.

Isuzu and Honda share the belief that fuel cell technology will be effective in heavy-duty trucks reaching carbon neutrality targets. These vehicles must achieve high-efficiency transportation and be capable of traveling long-distances with large load capacity as well as require fast refueling.

Hydrogen fuel cell truck - GIGA FUEL CELL being driven on a closed test course prior to the start of public road testing - Image Source - Honda

GIGA FUEL CELL being driven on a closed test course prior to the start of public road testing – Image Source: Honda

The current battery electric vehicle technology available is not ideally suited for the demands required of these types of vehicles. Isuzu and Honda are testing to see if hydrogen fuel cell truck technology – which emits only water and vapor – is the answer.

Joint research agreement.

hydrogen news ebookFour years ago, in January 2020, Isuzu and Honda signed an agreement to carry out joint research on fuel cell-powered heavy-duty trucks. Since that time, the companies have been diligently working on verifying the compatibility of the hydrogen fuel cell truck system and heavy-duty trucks, as well as establishing a foundation for the basic tech, including vehicle control technologies.

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