This New Development Shows Toyota’s Unwavering Commitment Towards Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology

Despite lots of promises, the future of hydrogen tech in the U.S. doesn’t seem too bright, with many hydrogen-filling stations being shut down. Toyota, however, is strongly committed to a hydrogen future, and its announcement to convert its California office to a new Hydrogen Headquarters is a testament to that.




The automaker has renamed the TMNA (Toyota Motor North America) R&D California office as its new North American Hydrogen Headquarters (H2HQ). In fact, the workspace was redesigned to make this an end-to-end hydrogen facility where teams from research and development to commercialization planning and sales of hydrogen-related products and technologies can work under the same roof.

While all this sounds impressive, will it reap the benefits considering the hydrogen market in the U.S. isn’t as successful as Toyota and the other players would’ve wanted it to be?

In order to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information possible, the data used to compile this article was sourced from Toyota.


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Toyota Is Not Giving Up On Hydrogen

Toyota's team posing it front of its new Hydrogen Headquarters
Toyota

With the news of hydrogen stations shutting down, the Mirai not raking in impressive numbers for the company, and owners asking for a buyback, it seemed like all this could be the nail in the coffin for Toyota’s hydrogen future. However, this announcement from Toyota reaffirms its commitment. This follows the footsteps of what Toyota did in Japan and Europe with the ‘Hydrogen Factory’ when it brought all hydrogen-related work under one roof in both locations.

“Toyota has developed hydrogen fuel cell electric solutions for more than three decades, and we will continue to advance this scalable, zero-emission technology as part of our electrified portfolio,” “Renaming this facility as North American Hydrogen Headquarters represents our leadership in fuel cell development creating real-world products to help reduce carbon emissions.” said Ted Ogawa, President and CEO, Toyota Motor North America.


The automaker also plans to add key features to the H2HQ campus in the future such as a flexible microgrid, sustainable customer education center, and more. This flexible microgrid includes a 230-kW solar photovoltaic system, a 1-MW stationary proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell generator, a 325-kW solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC), and an onsite 500-kWh battery energy storage system. Toyota is hoping for it to be ready and operational by 2026.


Robert Moore-Managing Editor
Expert Opinion

Toyota has been at the forefront of hydrogen as an alternative means of propulsion for a long time. While the brand has made big strides in both hydrogen fuel cell and hydrogen combustion, there’s still a considerable amount of work to do if these efforts will ever lead to a viable replacement for fuel-powered or battery-powered vehicles. This new headquarters is a step in the right direction. However, without the widespread adaption of hydrogen infrastructure, hydrogen’s use will continue to be very limited.

Toyota’s hydrogen efforts are there for everyone to see, and this is the latest testament to that unwavering commitment. While news of hydrogen stations being shut down doesn’t inspire confidence, there are hundreds under development. Toyota is directly involved with this pressing issue, too; the case in point being the ‘Shared Hydrogen Network’. The automaker has filed patents for a plan that lays out the groundwork for at-home hydrogen storage and production stations. Given the financial and technical resources Toyota has at hand, don’t rule this out.


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