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  3. 17 May 2023

Japan’s First Heavy-Duty Fuel Cell Electric Truck Verification Tests to Start
Tests will verify feasibility and practicality of using fuel cells to realize sustainable logistics

17 May 2023
Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd.

Asahi Group Japan, Ltd., Seino Transportation Co., Ltd., NEXT Logistics Japan, Ltd. (NLJ), and Yamato Transport Co., Ltd. are beginning on-the-road trials of heavy-duty fuel cell electric trucks (heavy-duty FCETs), which are powered by hydrogen, with the aim of realizing sustainable logistics. These are the first ever heavy-duty FCETs to operate in Japan, from May 2023.

Asahi Fuel Cell Electric Truck

1. Background and Objectives

The need to cut greenhouse gas emissions and enact other measures to realize sustainable logistics has been on the rise in recent years. Heavy-duty FCETs account for approximately 70 percent※1 of all greenhouse gas emissions generated by commercial vehicles in Japan. The heavy-duty FCETs used in highway transportation particularly must have adequate range and load capacity as well as being able to refuel quickly, and fuel cell systems, which are powered by high-energy-density hydrogen, are believed to be effective.
The purpose of these test runs is to verify the feasibility and practicality of using hydrogen fuel through the utilization of heavy-duty FCETs jointly developed by Toyota Motor Corporation and Hino Motors, Ltd. in the transportation operations of each company.

*1: According to research by Hino, as of March 31, 2023.

2. Overview of the Trials

(1)Start date: Staged rollout beginning from May 2023
(2)Transportation details
Asahi Group & NLJ Trial start date: May 19, 2023
Load beer and soft drinks at Asahi Breweries Ibaraki Brewery (Moriya City, Ibaraki Prefecture)
→Load whiskey, spirits, wines, and other products at Asahi Breweries Heiwajima Delivery Center (Ota-ku, Tokyo)
→Unload the products at NLJ Sagamihara Center (Sagamihara City, Kanagawa Prefecture)
→Load cargo from Kansai
→Return to Asahi Breweries Ibaraki Brewery
Seino Transportation Trial start date: June 2023
Refuel at a hydrogen station near the company’s Tokyo Branch (Koto-ku, Tokyo)
→Load cargo at Tokyo Branch
→Unload designated cargo at Odawara Branch (Odawara City, Kanagawa Prefecture)
→Unload designated cargo at Sagamihara Branch (Sagamihara City, Kanagawa Prefecture)
→Return to Tokyo Branch
Yamato Transport Trial start date: May 17, 2023
Refuel at a hydrogen station near the company’s Haneda Chronogate Base (Ota-ku, Tokyo)
→Load cargo at Haneda Chronogate Base
→Unload cargo at Gunma Base (Maebashi City, Gunma Prefecture)
→Load cargo at Gunma Base
→Return to Haneda Chronogate Base
(3)Main targets of verifications

<Operational aspects>
1)Usability for drivers during actual operation
2)Servicing, including refueling times at hydrogen stations

<Vehicle development>
1)Operation of the fuel cell system and electric system in general
2)Assessment of changes in hydrogen consumption due to environmental and driving-style differences, and acquisition of information on refueling at hydrogen stations
3)Acquisition of information on drivability (vehicle operability) and overall usability

3. Vehicle Features

The heavy-duty FCETs scheduled for use have a cruising range of approximately 600 km, and have both environmental performance and practicality as commercial vehicles. The vehicles are eco-friendly as they run on hydrogen and emit no greenhouse gases while in operation.

Fuel Cell System and High-Pressure Hydrogen Tanks

◁Fuel Cell System and High-Pressure Hydrogen Tanks
The vehicles are equipped with two FC stacks※2optimized for heavy-duty trucks via application of FC technology developed by Toyota. They are also equipped with six large high-pressure hydrogen tanks recently developed to be capable of storing large volumes of hydrogen. The system generates electricity by injecting the stored hydrogen into the FC stacks together with atmospheric oxygen. This electricity is then used to drive the motor to operate the vehicle.

*2: Devices that generate electricity through chemical reactions between hydrogen and oxygen

Hydrogen Refueling Port

◁Hydrogen Refueling Port
The trucks are equipped with hydrogen refueling ports that are also compatible with the high-speed hydrogen fueling standards planned for future implementation.


Vehicle specifications

Vehicle Base model Hino Profia FR1AWHG
Length / width / height 11,990 / 2,490 / 3,780 mm
Total vehicle weight 25 t
FC stack Name (type) Toyota FC Stack (Polymer electrolyte fuel cell)
Motor Type AC synchronous
High-pressure hydrogen tank Developing a new large capacity high pressure (70 MPa) hydrogen tank
Battery Type Lithium ion battery
Cruising range Approx. 600km,

* in integrated city and highway driving cycle; Toyota and Hino internal measurements

For reference

Asahi Group Initiatives

Asahi Group has set forth “Asahi Carbon Zero※3” as its medium-to-long-term target in response to climate change. In addition to introducing heavy-duty FCETs in Japan through this project, Asahi Group Japan also plans to introduce six light-duty FCETs over the course of 2023 and 2024 for use in making deliveries within Tokyo. Moving forward, the company will also continue to accelerate its efforts through implementation of an array of other energy-saving and environmental measures.

*3: A climate change target to achieve zero CO2 emissions in Scopes 1, 2, and 3 by 2050. By 2030, Asahi Group aims to achieve a 70% reduction in Scopes 1 and 2, followed by a 30% reduction in Scope 3 (both compared to 2019).

Asahi Group Japan, Ltd.

A regional headquarters company in charge of business in Japan under Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd. The company is responsible for managing the business of Asahi Breweries, Asahi Soft Drinks, Asahi Group Foods, and other group companies, with the aim to expand and maximize the value of each business in Japan.