Toyota North America unveils hydrogen-fuel-cell heavy-duty truck proof-of-concept; twin Mirai fuel cell stacks
19 April 2017
Toyota Motor North America, Inc. (TMNA) revealed “Project Portal”—a hydrogen fuel cell system designed for heavy-duty trucks applied in a Class 8 truck for use at the Port of Los Angeles (POLA).
Announced at a press conference with Port officials and representatives from California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the California Energy Commission (CEC), the zero-emission truck proof-of-concept will take part in a feasibility study examining the potential of fuel cell technology in heavy duty applications. The study will begin this summer and contribute to the Port’s Clean Air Action Plan, which has significantly reduced harmful emissions from operations at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles since 2005.
As they did with the Prius and the Mirai, 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. 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.—Mary D. Nichols, Chair, California Air Resources Board (CARB)
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 port drayage operations while emitting nothing but water vapor. Heavy-duty vehicles make up a significant percentage of the annual emissions output at the Port of Los Angeles, and the Portal feasibility study may provide another path to further reduce emissions.
The Project Portal platform is designed to provide the target performance required to support port drayage operations. The truck generates more than 670 hp and 1325 lb-ft (1796 N·m) of torque from two Mirai fuel cell stacks and a 12 kWh battery—a relatively small battery to support Class-8 load operations. As shown in the video below, the fuel-cell truck delivers excellent acceleration performance, compared to a conventional diesel.
The concept’s gross combined weight capacity is 80,000 lbs., and its estimated driving range is more than 200 miles per fill, under normal drayage operation.
Project Portal is just one part of Toyota’s ongoing commitment to fuel cell technology. It follows on the company’s continued work to expand California’s hydrogen refueling infrastructure, including the recently announced partnership with Shell to increase the number of hydrogen refueling stations in the state. (Earlier post.)
Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles play a role in California’s efforts to achieve greenhouse gas emission reduction goals, improve air quality, and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. That’s why the California Energy Commission is investing in the refueling infrastructure needed to support adoption of these vehicles. The Commission applauds Toyota for putting this cutting edge technology to use a heavy-duty freight proof of concept. This demo will show how fuel cells can help support the heavy-duty sector’s efforts to increase efficiency, transition to zero-emission technologies, and increase competitiveness.—Janea A. Scott, Commissioner, California Energy Commission