Toyota Tests Fuel Cell-Powered Big Rigs at California Ports

October 12, 2017 at 4:14 PM

Toyota Motor Corp. has completed the initial phase of testing (4,000 miles) with a fuel cell-powered Class 8 truck in California.

The company says the proof-of-concept vehicle now will begin short drayage runs, transporting goods from ship terminals at ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach to nearby warehouses and rail yards. The truck initially is expected to log about 200 miles per day, equaling its estimated driving range on a tank of hydrogen fuel.

Teaming a 12-kWh lithium-ion battery with two of the fuel cell stacks that power Toyota’s Mirai sedan, the 80,000-lb big rig generates 670 hp and 1,325 lb-ft of torque. The vehicle is said to deliver “excellent acceleration” compared with a diesel counterpart.

Toyota says the demanding duty cycles of the so-called “Project Portal” program captures real world performance data to help assess the capabilities of fuel cell trucks. Progressively heavier loads and longer routes will be added later.