Thatcham Research joins Toyota’s hydrogen project

Thatcham Research is working with Toyota and a consortium of specialist industry partners to develop a hydrogen version of Toyota’s iconic Hilux pick-up.

Its insurance risk intelligence and engineering expertise will assess the repair and safety implications of any adaptations made to the standard Hilux throughout the design process. This includes making recommendations for vehicle development to ensure strong passive and active safety performance, while providing early awareness of potential repair challenges.

Miller Crockart, chief revenue officer, Thatcham Research said: “We’re delighted to be collaborating with Toyota and Ricardo on this project. Whilst pure battery electric vehicles are the poster child for decarbonisation in the automotive sector, continued research and the development of alternative fuel types, such as hydrogen, also hold the potential to play a key part in achieving UK carbon neutrality goals.

“This project is a good example of how government and the automotive sector can bring innovation and new growth opportunities to the UK motor industry. At Thatcham Research, we are supporting more and more OEMs on their complex journey along the Road to Zero, with design advice, training, and testing on insurance-critical aspects such as repair, maintenance, safety, and sustainability. A collaborative relationship between OEMs and the Insurance sector is to everyone’s benefit, and this is a great model for that working in practice.”

Richard Kenworthy, managing director, Toyota Manufacturing (UK), said: “This is a hugely significant project for Toyota and the consortium. It is great to work alongside well-established companies such as Thatcham Research and acknowledge what they can bring to this project. Their experience and knowledge of the repair and safety aspects of the vehicle development will enable the wider automotive sector to upskill and be hydrogen ready. This will then also have a direct impact on the insurance rating of the final vehicle. We are confident that this is a winning combination of companies that can collectively contribute to the hydrogen landscape, supporting new job skills and competencies going forward.”