Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) has introduced SimpleFuel, a small water electrolysis-based machine for hydrogen generation, at its Motomachi plant in central Japan.
SimpleFuel, a simplified hydrogen station, uses electricity from solar panels at the plant site to produce low-carbon hydrogen from the electrolysis of water, which is then supplied to fuel cell forklifts (FC forklifts) after it is compressed and pressurized.
It can produce up to 99Nm³/day (approximately 8.8 kg/day) of hydrogen, enough to fuel seven or eight FC forklifts. The station’s compact size means it can be installed in small spaces, making it suitable for refueling FC forklifts within the plant.
There has been a hydrogen station at the Motomachi plant since March 2018, in conjunction with the increasing numbers of FC forklifts in use there. By working to support fueling through the use of SimpleFuel, Toyota aims to reduce CO₂ emissions at Motomachi and intends to develop new technologies and knowledge.
To reduce CO₂ emissions at its plants, Toyota intends to replace existing conventional forklifts with fuel cell forklifts. The move began at Motomachi, with the introduction of two Toyota Industries Corporation FC forklifts in 2017, followed by a further 20 in 2018. This year, a subsidy from the Ministry of the Environment made possible the introduction of SimpleFuel and an additional 50 FC forklifts.
In collaboration with the Aichi Low-Carbon Hydrogen Supply Chain Promotion Association, along with Aichi Prefecture and related local authorities and companies, Toyota is promoting the low-carbon footprint of the hydrogen supply chain as a whole through use of renewable resources and the concept of “production, transportation and use.”
The company’s plan to use hydrogen produced from electricity from renewable sources generated at Motomachi Plant is certified according to Aichi Prefecture’s Low Carbon Hydrogen Certification System.
Since launching the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050 in 2015, Toyota has been developing and implementing technologies by harnessing hydrogen energy, in a bid to utilize hydrogen at its plants to help with its Plant Zero CO₂ Emissions Challenge. Toyota is steadily working on various initiatives to reach this goal, including promoting the introduction and use of SimpleFuel and FC forklifts at the Motomachi plant.