Japanese automakers Honda and Isuzu have initiated on-road trials for their collaborative project, the ‘Giga Fuel Cell' truck. The testing phase, scheduled to continue until September 2024, aligns with the timeline previously disclosed by the companies.
Unveiled in October 2023, the 25-ton fuel cell truck boasts a promised range exceeding 800 miles. Propelled by four fuel cell stacks from Honda, each with a capacity of 103 kW, and equipped with a hydrogen storage capacity of 56 kilograms, the vehicle serves dual purposes. In addition to transportation, it functions as a mobile power station, featuring an external power output function. The truck's two CHAdeMO connectors can supply up to 530 kWh, a capability particularly relevant in disaster-prone regions of Japan.
The testing initiative, conducted on public roads in Tochigi, Saitama, Tokyo, and Kanagawa prefectures, aims to collect data, gather insights, and identify technical challenges in anticipation of the anticipated market introduction in 2027. The prototype employed in testing mirrors the model showcased at the Japan Mobility Show in 2023.
During the testing period, data will primarily remain internal, with Isuzu's and Honda's logistics entities sharing the responsibility of operating the vehicle and conducting refueling tests.
Both Honda and Isuzu reiterated their confidence in the efficacy of fuel cell technology for achieving carbon neutrality in heavy-duty trucks. The collaboration between the two companies began in early 2020 when they agreed to conduct joint research on fuel-cell-powered heavy-duty trucks. In May of the following year, they announced their intentions to launch a hydrogen-powered truck.
Honda, in its forward-looking strategy outlined in February 2023, delineated four core domains for the utilization of its fuel cell (FC) system: fuel cell vehicles, commercial vehicles, stationary power stations, and construction machinery. Isuzu has also engaged in partnerships related to fuel cell trucks, including collaborations on light commercial trucks with Hino and Toyota.