Toyota Implements New Strategy for Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles

Toyota has made a name for itself among green car enthusiasts and environmentalists thanks to the brand’s pioneering efforts with the introduction of the Prius hybrid. Nowadays, hybrids as well as electric vehicles are becoming more commonplace, and it seems like almost every major auto manufacturer has a green car or two in its lineup. However, Toyota has chosen to look to the further again — this time, in the realm of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. However, early efforts to incorporate hydrogen fuel cells as an alternative source of fuel passed under the radar, so Toyota has gone back to the drawing board, choosing to introduce hydrogen fuel in different areas in order to slowly build demand.

 

The problem with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles parallels the initial problem with electric vehicles. Electric charging ports were rare because EVs themselves were rare, but nobody wanted to buy EVs because of their short range and shortage of charging ports. Hydrogen fueling stations are similarly scarce due to the lack of demand for vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel.

 

Consequently, Toyota is turning its attention (temporarily) away from the automobile market and targeting a more industrial demographic. The next vehicle from the company to be powered by hydrogen fuel cells will be none other than a forklift. These forklifts will be engineered to harness wind power to generate hydrogen to power them through small tasks like shuttling vegetables, beer, and other lightweight goods in the Tokyo Bay marketplace.

 

As demand for the hydrogen-powered forklifts grows, Toyota will slowly release more mainstream hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, with the plan being to eventually launch more passenger vehicles such as the Toyota Mirai. Additionally, Toyota is the world’s largest producer on forklifts, which means these forklifts may catch on sooner than one might think.

Toyota Renews Partnership with Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series

For the second year in a row, Toyota has decided to renew its partnership with Competitor Group, Inc. The organization is in charge of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series, a marathon event that spans 30 different locations and 600,000 runners across the U.S. and combines the experience of running a marathon with headliner performances at finish line rock festivals. These festivals would not be possible without the Toyota Rock ‘n’ Roll Concert Series.

 

In addition to providing the entertainment at the end of the marathon race, participating in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series gives Toyota a chance to engage with communities and customers in a more direct and interactive way. The brand has permission to host Toyota Ride and Drive events at select pre-race Health and Fitness Expos organized in advance of the marathon, at which runners are given the opportunity to experience Toyota vehicles for free. Plus, onsite activations and digital media engagement with the runners involved in the event add an extra level of interaction.

 

“Toyota has been a phenomenal partner to work with this past year, celebrating and inspiring a passion for the active lifestyle,” John Smith of Competitor Group, Inc. said regarding the partnership. “Both of our brands are committed to energizing communities around shared passions of music and fitness, providing customers with a memorable experience, whether it’s live entertainment on the course or the Toyota Rock ‘n’ Roll Concert Series at the finish line.”

 

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series is the largest sports platform in the United States, with a projected 600,000 runners expected to participate in the 2016 series. Toyota’s involvement with the event allows the brand to connect with marathon runners through a combination of fitness and musical entertainment.