Technology 3 min read

Toyota Announces Release of Hydrogen-Powered Delivery Trucks

Toyota Announces Release of Hydrogen-Powered Delivery Trucks

With zero carbon emissions, no noise on the road, and only water as a byproduct, the future of hydrogen delivery trucks is bright.

One of the leading automakers that has invested a lot of resources into hydrogen-fuel powered vehicles is Toyota Motors.

In 2017, Toyota’s Project Portal kicked off as an expansion of its fuel cell electric technology into the trucking industry.

Building on Toyota’s electric vehicles knowledge, engineers designed Project Portal 0.1, the Alpha concept of semi-truck powered by two fuel cell stacks. Then after running lab and real-world tests, they upgraded the model to Project Portal 2.0, the Beta model.

Like the Prius before with hybrid cars, then the Mirai for hydrogen fuel sedans, Toyota has faith in Project Portal to do the same for zero-emission heavy-duty trucks.

Toyota’s Fuel Cell Tech Gets California Authorities and Trucking Companies on Board

On April 22 at the Port of Los Angeles, Toyota unveiled the first fuel cell electric heavy-duty truck (FCET), jointly developed with truck manufacturer Kenworth. Present at the unveiling were California government officials and trucking industry representatives.

This truck is a Kenworth T680 Class 8 truck with Toyota fuel cell electric technology, and it comes with improved range and performance compared to the Alpha and Beta concepts.

Toyota’s fuel cell powertrain allows the trucks to go 300 miles per fill before needing a 25 minute top up.

With this range, Toyota and Kenworth trucks can cover twice the average daily cycle of a typical drayage truck.

The two manufacturers will deploy a total of 10 trucks later this year as part of the ZANZEFF (Zero-and-Near-Zero Emission Freight Facilities) Project.

This fleet of 10 Kenworth/Toyota hydrogen trucks will move cargo from ports in LA and Long Beach. Four trucks will be operated by Toyota itself, three by UPS, two by Total Transportation Services Inc., and one by Southern Counties Express.

Read More: Nikola: Meet the Startup Making Hydrogen Powered Trucks a Reality

According to Mike Dozier, general manager of Kenworth Truck Company, The ZANZEFF project provides: “an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the viability of fuel cell electric technology in both drayage service and regional haul commercial vehicle applications operating in Southern California,”

Building hydrogen-powered trucks and getting them on the road won’t amount to much without adequate fueling network.

The next phase in the ZANZEFF collaboration includes building two large-capacity hydrogen fueling stations in Wilmington and Ontario, California, to be developed by Shell.

Toyota already operates three hydrogen fueling facilities in Long Beach, and when the two new stations are operational, it’ll have a 5-station hydrogen fueling network for heavy-duty trucks in the Los Angeles basin.

10 fuel cell trucks among the 16,000 diesel-powered drayage trucks currently serving LA and Long Beach ports sounds like a cosmetic measure. But that’s 10 polluting trucks phased out, so it’s not a bad start.

Read More: Researchers Create Hydrogen Fuel From Seawater

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Zayan Guedim

Trilingual poet, investigative journalist, and novelist. Zed loves tackling the big existential questions and all-things quantum.

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