Production Nears for Toyota’s Next-Gen Fuel-Cell Electric Heavy-Duty Trucks

Toyota’s next-generation fuel-cell technology is now in use and powering a set of U.S.-based Class 8 heavy-duty trucks.

Using the same fuel cell system as the new 2021 Mirai sedan, Toyota Motor North America Research and Development developed a set of production-intent prototype trucks that are being prepared to run drayage (short distance shipping) routes in California to validate their performance, efficiency, and drivability.

The new fuel-cell electric system in the latest prototypes has been adapted to a Kenworth T680 chassis. A more compact hydrogen storage cabinet behind the cab houses six hydrogen tanks with the same capacity as previous prototypes while a new, more powerful lithium-ion battery delivers power to the electric motors. In this configuration, the second-generation fuel cell system delivers over 480km miles of range at a full load weight of 80,000 lbs., (36,287kg).

“This is an important step in the transition to emissions-free heavy-duty trucks,” said Andrew Lund, chief engineer, Toyota Motor North America Research and Development. “Our first prototype trucks proved that a fuel-cell electric powertrain was capable of hauling heavy cargo on a daily basis. These new prototypes not only use production-intent hardware, they will also allow us to start looking beyond drayage into broader applications of this proven technology.”

Toyota’s Environmental Challenge 2050 aims to almost eliminate CO2 emissions completely from its vehicles, operations, and supply chain by 2050.

Source: Motor Trade e-Magazine (February 2021)

23 February 2021

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