Toyota Start-Up Investment to Boost European Hydrogen Capabilities

Toyota has boosted its hydrogen fuel cell production and development capabilities by becoming a direct investor into a French energy start-up.

The automaker has announced its investment in in EODev (Energy Observer Developments) stating the move illustrates its belief in agile, young businesses with the aim of accelerating the spread of hydrogen applications. It also claims EODev and its partners are positioning themselves as a European leader capable of designing, assembling and distributing zero-emission energy systems on an industrial scale.

The partnership started in 2017, when Toyota France decided to sponsor the Energy Observer. It is the world’s first hydrogen-powered boat, capable of producing its own hydrogen on-board from seawater thanks to solar, wind and hydro generated power. In early 2020, EODev and Toyota Motor Europe (TME) Fuel Cell Business integrated Toyota’s fuel cell technology in the Energy Observer boat, ahead of its Atlantic and Pacific Ocean crossings.

Both companies worked together to develop hydrogen products around the Toyota modular fuel cell system. EODev’s REXH2 is a maritime hydrogen power solution that can be integrated into different kinds of ships, in full compliance with environmental and regulatory constraints. Its GEH2 stationary generator is another example of a zero-emission solution using the Toyota hydrogen technology.

Matt Harrison, president and CEO of TME, said: “This will enable the industrialization of hydrogen solutions developed by both companies’ engineers using the Toyota fuel cell technology. We both embrace the Sustainable Development Goals as a direction towards a better society and a better world. Our partnership has already been very successful, and this enhanced cooperation will help further develop products that accelerate decarbonization and the growth of a hydrogen society.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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