Toyota establishes department at Óbuda University bic_2021_admn 2024.05.31.

Toyota establishes department at Óbuda University

At Óbuda University, born from the collaboration between one of the country’s most prestigious technical higher education institutions and one of Toyota’s most significant domestic dealerships, engineering students can now learn about future propulsion technologies. Infostart.hu interviewed János Szilasi, CEO of Toyota Sakura, head of the hybrid and hydrogen systems department at the educational institution, and Levente Kovács, rector of Óbuda University.

Toyota Sakura & Óbuda University

Toyota Sakura has been trading cars for thirty years and has been involved in educating young people for informational purposes for twenty years. Initially, they started working with primary and then secondary schools to introduce students to the latest technologies. However, two years ago, they began closely cooperating with Óbuda University. As a result, hundreds of mechanical and electric engineering students from the institution have learned about technologies like hydrogen technology and hybrid systems used by Toyota, as reported by InfoRádió from János Szilasi.

According to him, students will acquire knowledge that can be directly applied in both scientific and practical work. He stated that the collaboration is beneficial at the societal level because, through Toyota, they can convey technologies that might otherwise take a decade to reach higher education through traditional technology transfer. They consider it their mission to make as many people as possible aware of these opportunities, as deep knowledge is required for the Hungarian economy to connect with these trends, not just leading in battery car technology.

Toyota & Óbuda & the future or propulsion

The CEO of Toyota Sakura, János Szilasi, explained that at Toyota Sakura, they do not see the future in one type of propulsion but believe it will be an ecosystem where hydrogen-powered, hybrid, and traditional cars all have their place. “None will function as a standalone technology, which is why future engineers need to learn about all possible alternatives,” emphasized Szilasi, adding that hydrogen technology is not the future but already part of our daily lives, playing a significant role not only in mobility and transportation but also in building energy systems.

Toyota began developing hybrid vehicles in the mid-90s, resulting in the introduction of the Prius in 1997. Today, the company’s full hybrid lineup includes 44 models. When asked about the current demand for such vehicles, János Szilasi said that while hardly anyone bought them in the late 90s, hybrids now hold a 40-50% share of the European passenger car market, and they believe this will remain stable.

About the cooperation

Levente Kovács, the rector of Óbuda University, emphasized the importance of students gaining knowledge about modern and popular technologies in connection with the new department.

He recalled on InfoRádió that they expanded their strategic research directions towards green energy six months ago, collaborating with several companies, including Toyota Sakura. He highlighted the significant commitment of the dealership not only through a classic partnership but also by establishing an industrial department together, enhancing their education by training their colleagues as well. The starting point for this is Toyota Sakura’s plan to build the country’s first comprehensive hydrogen service center, with the relevant area already secured, and to set up a training and research station in cooperation with the university.

Why hydrogen?

He noted that hydrogen energy is a very “hot” topic globally today, integrating into our daily lives in many aspects. It is not only used in vehicles but also in households, driving numerous technical solutions. This type of collaboration can provide a competitive advantage for the university, added Kovács, as they aim to expand and strengthen their educational portfolio towards research.

According to the leader, there is significant interest from students in such courses and topics. Levente Kovács emphasized that the agreement with Toyota Sakura not only elevates the university’s prestige from both teaching and research perspectives but also provides a competitive advantage in university rankings and student attractiveness.