Los Angeles, California – Toyota engineers have adapted the fuel cell system in the hydrogen-powered Mirai vehicle for something just a bit larger.
The experimental Project Portal mates fuel cells and batteries to a Kenworth Class 8 truck, created a hydrogen-powered, heavy duty work truck. Built for the Port of Los Angeles, the massive vehicle will serve as a feasibility study for using hydrogen instead of diesel for commercial applications.
The study will begin this summer and contribute to the Port’s Clean Air Action Plan, which has reduced emissions from operations at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles since 2005.
“Toyota is taking a leap into the future of technology. By bringing this heavy duty, zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell proof of concept truck to the Port, Toyota has planted a flag that we hope many others will follow,” said Mary D. Nichols, Chair, California Air Resources Board (CARB). “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.”
Project Portal will generate more than 670hp (less than the recently unveiled Dodge Demon) and 1,325 lb-ft. of torque from two Mirai fuel cell stacks and a 12kWh battery. The battery, smaller than energy storage systems for the Chevy Bolt EV or Tesla’s cars, serves more as a buffer for the fuel cells than as a primary energy source. The concept’s gross combined weight capacity is 80,000 lb, and its estimated driving range is more than 200 miles per fill, under normal drayage operation.
“Toyota believes that hydrogen fuel cell technology has tremendous potential to become the powertrain of the future,” said Toyota Motor North America Executive Vice President Bob Carter.
About the author: Robert Schoenberger is the editor of Today's Motor Vehicles and a contributor to Today's Medical Developments and Aerospace Manufacturing and Design. He has written about the automotive industry for more than 17 years at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio; The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky; and The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi.