Toyota Develops Zero Emission Fuel Cell for Heavy Duty Trucks

Published 13 October 2017

News just in from Toyota Motor North America is that it has developed a hydrogen fuel cell system for heavy-duty trucks.

The zero-emission, Class 8 proof-of-concept has completed more than 4,000 successful development miles, while pulling heavy cargo and emitting nothing but water vapour.

Come 2040 this is going to be vital if the World still expects to be able to move most of its goods by road.

“Toyota has led the way in expanding the understanding and adoption of fuel cell technology,” said TMNA Executive Vice President Bob Carter. “From the introduction of the Mirai passenger vehicle to the creation of the heavy-duty fuel cell system in Project Portal, Toyota continues to demonstrate the versatility and scalability of the zero-emission fuel cell powertrain.”

With testing and development miles already having been completed, TMNA's Project Portal is ready to go to work. Initial feasibility study routes, moving goods from select Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach terminals to surrounding rail yards and warehouses for distribution, will begin on October 23rd 2017. It’s estimated the truck’s daily trips will total around 200 miles. These localised, frequent route patterns are designed to test the demanding haulage capabilities of the fuel cell system, while capturing real world performance data.  As the study progresses, longer haul routes will be introduced.

The initial feasibility study operations will be managed by the TMNA Project Portal team, in collaboration with Toyota’s Service Parts Accessories Operations group and its drayage provider, Southern Counties Express (SCE).

Revealed in April 2017, Project Portal is the next step in Toyota’s effort to broaden the application of zero-emission fuel cell technology that can serve a range of industries. It is a fully functioning heavy duty truck with the power and torque capacity to conduct haulage operations while producing zero emissions. Heavy duty vehicles make up a significant percentage of the annual emissions output at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and the Portal feasibility study may provide another path to further reduce emissions.

The Project Portal heavy-duty truck concept generates more than 670 horsepower and 1,325 pound feet of torque from two Mirai fuel cell stacks and a 12kWh battery, a relatively small battery to support class eight load operations. The concept’s gross combined weight capacity is 80,000 lbs (36,288kg), and its estimated driving range is more than 200 miles per fill, under normal operation.

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