Toyota is heading to the moon

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Words: Nile Bijoux
14 Mar 2019

Sadly, not via an awesome new space shuttle. Instead, Toyota has signed a deal with Japanese space agency JAXA to build a pressurised lunar rover.

The craft, which looks like the FJ Cruiser’s weird sibling, will have a range of more than 10,000 km thanks to fuel cell technology and solar charging. It’ll be as big as two small buses, with 13 cubic metres of interior volume and space for two astronauts, or four in an emergency.

JAXA's president, Hiroshi Yamakawa, stated that "manned rovers with pressurized cabins are an element that will play an important role in fully-fledged exploration and use of the lunar surface. For this, we would like to concentrate on our country’s technological abilities and conduct technological studies.

"Through our joint studies, we would like to put Toyota’s excellent technological abilities related to mobility to use. We look forward to the acceleration of our technological studies for the realization of a manned, pressurized rover."

Toyota Executive Vice President Shigeki Terashi said that: “As an engineer, there is no greater joy than being able to participate in such a lunar project by way of Toyota’s car-making and, furthermore, by way of our technologies related to electrified vehicles, such as fuel cell batteries and our technologies related to autonomous and automated driving.”

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