In the middle of last year, Toyota and JAXA reached an agreement on joint research on a manned lunar vehicle with the aim of completing such a rover in the second half of the 2020s. In the current 2020 fiscal year, the partners are working on the joint production of test parts for all technological components as well as on the rover prototype itself. The work includes simulations of performance and heat losses during driving, the production and evaluation of special tires, and the use of virtual and full-scale models to assess the cabin layout and equipment layout.
The vehicle, nicknamed “Lunar Cruiser” is powered by the same fuel cell technology that powers the Toyota Mirai (fuel consumption hydrogen combined 0.76 kg/100 km; power consumption combined 0 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined 0 g/km) here on earth. The first series-produced sedan with fuel cell drive will soon be rolling onto the road in its second generation. In the lunar vehicle, the hydrogen drive is to prove its versatility and robustness under extreme conditions. At the same time, this drive technology will underline its role in a sustainable mobility concept of the future.