Toyota is to trial the use of hydrogen-powered forklift trucks that could cut carbon emissions by 80%.
The project, due to begin in the autumn in Japan, aims to test the effectiveness of a low carbon hydrogen supply chain. Hydrogen produced from renewable energy will be used to power forklifts.
Toyota estimated that the project would lead to an at least 80% reduction in carbon emissions compared to a scenario where forklift supply chains would continue to be powered by gas or grid electricity.
Electricity produced at the Yokohama City Wind Power Plant will be used to separate hydrogen and oxygen from water and this will be transported to four sites to test different diverse conditions, a statement by Toyota said on Monday.
The four sites will be a fruit and vegetable market, a factory and two warehouses, where hydrogen will be used in fuel cells to power forklifts.
Trial operations will begin by introducing a single forklift at two facilities. Full-scale operations will however only begin in 2017. The full-scale operations will involve deploying a total of 12 forklifts, three each in the four facilities.
“The project’s aim is to establish a hydrogen supply chain, investigate costs, and estimate potential carbon dioxide reductions that can be achieved with a full-fledged supply chain in the future,” the statement said.
The project will also involve the participation of Kanagawa Prefectural Government, the municipal governments of Yokohama and Kawasaki cities and the project is supported by the Japanese environment ministry.