Toyota Heavy-Duty Fuel Cell Truck to Begin Real-World Tests

Toyota'Project Portal proof-of-concept hydrogen fuel-cell powered semi tractor for Port of LA

A truck powered by Toyota-developed hydrogen fuel cells has completed the first part of a wide-ranging trial in the US, now it will actually get to work.

The truck has already completed more than 4,000 development miles and will now be utilized around the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, moving goods between terminals and to surrounding rail yards and warehouses. The goal is to test how the battery pack will be impacted by frequent cycling of the fuel cell system, which will be refueled often, as well as to capture real-world performance data. If successful, it may also help the ports move closer towards their vision for zero-emissions shoreside operations. "CARB will be following the progress of this feasibility study with interest, as we look to develop the best mix of regulations and incentives to rapidly expand the market for the cleanest, most efficient big trucks to meet the need for dramatic change in the freight sector".

After introducing the hydrogen-powered Mirai sedan, Toyota is looking to expand its fuel cell technology to heavy-duty trucks.

The modified Kenworth is quiet and quick.

Powered by the same technology that propels the Mirai hydrogen vehicle (driven here), the truck version has two fuel cell stacks, rather than the single stack found in the auto. It can drive more than 200 miles on a tank of hydrogen, Toyota estimates, and it has a gross combined weight capacity of 80,000 pounds.

Tesla plans to unveil its own fully electric semi truck in November, and Tesla founder Elon Musk has been a vocal critic of hydrogen power in general.

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