Toyota builds H2 fuel cell R&D centre in Beijing

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Toyota has started construction of a fuel cell research and development centre for commercial vehicles in the Chinese capital Beijing. Once completed, the R&D centre will also house fuel cell production and test lines.

Toyota’s two Chinese fuel cell joint ventures for commercial vehicles called United Fuel Cell System R&D (FCRD), of which Toyota holds 65 per cent of the shares, and Toyota Sinohytec Fuel Cell of which Toyota holds 50 per cent, are investing about 8 billion yen (53.7 million euros) in the 110,000 square metre facility. Both companies are already based in Beijing.

Toyota has said that the production of fuel cells “will be based on the concept of environmental protection” and will use the TPS production method (Toyota Production System). The company says this should create an intelligent production system with the ability to respond flexibly to market demand.

The foundation stone for the new plant was laid this week in the Beijing Economic Technological Development Area. In announcing the centre, Toyota China has not given dates for the completion and commissioning of the centre, nor has the company revealed the planned capacity of the production lines located there.

Dong Changzheng, Chairman of FCRD, said, “We are confident that with the official inauguration and rapid start-up of the two companies, we will help promote the development and growth of the hydrogen energy innovation industry chain in Beijing and the national hydrogen energy technology innovation and industry development. From Beijing, where Toyota Fuel Cell started in China, we will be able to expand our business to the rest of the country.”

FCRD was founded in 2020 by Toyota with FAW, Dongfeng, GAC, BAIC and SinoHytec. In June 2021, Toyota established a second joint venture, Toyota Sinohytec Fuel Cell, with only SinoHytec as a partner). The first company focuses on research and development, the second on production and market development.

According to the announcement, both companies have two fuel cell systems on offer “based on the requirements of the Chinese market”, the TL Power 100 and TL Power 80, which are said to have “industry-leading high performance and power density” and an operating life of more than 30,000 hours., (in Chinese)

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