Auto maker Toyota is to mass-produce its own 5MW PEM electrolysers in a partnership with fellow Japanese company Chiyoda Corporation, the companies announced today.

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The equipment has been developed using the same stacks as Toyota’s fuel cells, which it uses in its hydrogen-powered Mirai car.

“The production and mass production technologies for electrolysis cell stacks using the fuel cell technology held by Toyota and the processing plant design technologies and large-scale plant construction technologies held by Chiyoda will be brought together to develop a large-scale electrolysis system that can be competitive,” the companies announced.

“This will allow adaptation to the rapidly expanding hydrogen production markets both inside and outside Japan.”

A rendering of a Toyota large-scale electrolysis system using multiple 5MW electrolyser units. Photo: Toyota

The 5MW electrolysers — which each take up 2.5 x 6 metres of floor space, and will be capable of producing 100kg of H2 per hour — will be combined to create “a standard package, allowing the construction of large-scale electrolysis systems”.

“The merits of this equipment include the fact that it only takes up about half the floor area of conventional equipment and offers ease of maintenance while allowing easier shipping, shortened on-site construction times, and lower civil engineering and construction costs,” the companies say.

“Toyota's particular expertise in industrial products and Chiyoda's particular expertise in plant engineering will be combined and optimised, allowing benefits such as lower costs, increased production efficiency, and more stable quality for the electrolysis systems required to produce green hydrogen.”

The two companies do not reveal any details about when a factory would be built, or what production capacity it would have, only that “an electrolysis system” will be introduced at Toyota’s Honsha plant (its oldest factory) in the financial year 2025, that will then be “expanded in the future to the 10MW class and used for verification and development”.

This suggests that factory construction is still at least two years away.