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Kenworth T680 fuel cell tractor on display at CES

A zero-emission Kenworth Class 8 T680 day cab tractor equipped with a Ballard hydrogen fuel cell (earlier post) is on display at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The truck is part of the PACCAR Innovations booth exhibit—the first time PACCAR and Kenworth have exhibited at the show, which draws close to 200,000 visitors.

The vehicle is part of the Zero Emission Cargo Transport (ZECT) (earlier post) demonstration project managed through Southern California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). The Kenworth T680 day cab’s fuel cell produces electricity to power the dual-rotor electric motor to move the truck, or it can recharge the lithium-ion batteries for use later.


The hybrid drive system manages the power from the fuel cell to and from the batteries, as well as the traction motors and other components, such as the electrified power steering and brake air compressor.

Kenworth’s hydrogen fuel-cell T680 is a reality. The T680 has been running trials in the Seattle area and performing very well. The next step is real-world testing with Total Transportation Services Inc. (TTSI) at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in Southern California.

—Stephan Olsen, Kenworth director of product planning

According to Olsen, the hydrogen fuel-cell based Kenworth T680 will have an initial range of 150 miles (241 km), which makes it suited for short haul and port operations. With a dual-rotor traction motor output of 565 horsepower, the truck is capable of carrying the legal gross combination weight of a Class 8 vehicle.

Our testing shows that this truck performs equally as well, if not better than, current diesel trucks on the market. There is a lot of promise, and we see the day where Kenworth’s zero and near-zero emission trucks could be a common sight in regional operations.Kenworth is heavily focused on the evaluation and development of both zero and near-zero emission solutions for the trucking industry.

—Stephan Olsen

The market is being driven by states such as California where clean air is the mandate. To develop the hydrogen-based T680, Kenworth is supported by $2.8 million in funding under a larger grant from the US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), with Southern California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) being the prime applicant.

Project oversight is provided by the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE). Kenworth is also working on a second project under the larger program for DOE and SCAQMD to develop a near-zero emission-capable T680 day cab using a near-zero natural gas engine and generator to extend the battery range.



It looks like Class 8 day trucks are now moving to current practise, with Toyota and Kenworth both involved.


There will be some howling "fool" cells, but if this works it will help clean the air and use less imported oil.


15 ton GVM
Twin rotor single stator = No differential needed.

Like this.



I believe that the Cummins Battery Electric tractor would be both cheaper to own and operate and a more efficient use of electric power.


For long-haul runs, fuel cells might make sense but personally, I think that I would bet on Lithium Sulfur batteries. Overall, in my opinion, batteries are making progress faster than fuel cells.


Going form 1X to 10X lithium?? or SS batteries is a very slow and a very long path. Yearly improvement seems to be somewhere between 5% and 8%.

Based on established improvement rates, it could take another 10 to 20+ years to go from current 2X to 5X units and another 20+ years to go from 5X to 10X?

Multiple breakthroughs are announced every month but none really make to the mass production lines.

The overall FCs effectiveness + efficiency, improved power to weight ratio, improved longer life, lower price per KW, and much lower H2 price have (all) made inroads in the last 10 years. Initial and operational cost will soon match new ultra quick charge batteries.

FCs will eventually supply electric energy for many e-cars, e-SUVs, e-Pick-ups, e-buses, e-trucks, e-trains, e-ships, e-drones, e-planes, emergency power units and to regulate power grids.


5% improvement per year with batteries is good, but if you want to go long haul in a few years with less pollution and less foreign oil Kenworth, Toyota and Nikola have ideas.

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