11.52 million: That's how many cars Toyota and its subsidiaries built in 2023. Despite being the busiest automaker in the business, the Japanese juggernaut still finds time to explore non-automotive fields. It has unexpectedly built what it claims to be the world's first hydrogen-powered stone oven.

Toyota teamed up with Japanese gas appliance maker Rinnai to build it for the Japan Mobility Show. The stone oven was used to serve visitors not just freshly baked pizzas but also croissants. That turned out to be a success, especially among kids. Toyota's staff built the oven and is now using it to make pizzas and croissants during the workday.

"Hydrogen has a high combustion temperature. As it burns, it combines with oxygen to produce steam, making dishes crispy on the outside and succulent inside. For example, take things like mushrooms and vegetables. While these ingredients tend to dry out on a wood or charcoal BBQ, hydrogen cooks more quickly, leaving them bursting with moisture and delicious flavors."

Encouraged by the success it had with the hydrogen-powered stone oven, Toyota proceeded to build additional hydrogen cookers. That’s how the hydrogen grille was born, and subsequently used at various Toyota-endorsed motorsport activities. Shortly after that, the company's workers also built a kamado.

After Volkswagen's currywurst sausage, Bentley's honey, and Peugeot's pepper grinders, here comes Toyota's hydrogen stone oven. Granted, you can't buy it, but the next time you're at a car show in Japan, you might be able to eat a pizza or a croissant made in it.

<p>Toyota's hydrogen-powered griller</p>

Toyota's hydrogen-powered griller

Toyota's hydrogen-powered kamado

Toyota's hydrogen-powered kamado

It's safe to say the company's hydrogen efforts have been subpar in terms of sales, with Toyota even admitting the Mirai has "not been successful." Even so, it's not giving up on this tech. Not only is the Mirai still around, but the Crown sedan is offered in Japan with a hydrogen powertrain. In addition, engineers are exploring internal combustion engines that burn hydrogen by working on the GR Yaris H2 and GR Corolla H2 prototypes.

Then there's the GR H2 Racing, a concept of a hydrogen-powered race car that will compete in the new Le Mans H2 class later this decade. Toyota has an ongoing partnership with BMW, which is among the few automakers that think there is a future in the automotive industry for hydrogen-fueled vehicles.

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