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Hino Trucks reveals first XL8 fuel cell electric truck prototype

Hino Trucks revealed its first Class 8 Hino XL8 prototype powered by a hydrogen fuel cell electric drivetrain, at the 2021 ACT Expo in Long Beach, California. The truck combines a Toyota hydrogen fuel cell electric drive system in the XL Series chassis. (earlier post)


From our Project Z announcement last October [earlier post], we have received significant interest from customers, and now we have something tangible to show them in our prototype FCEV.

—Bob Petz, Senior Vice President of Vehicle and Parts Sales, Hino Trucks

Hino Trucks, a Toyota Group Company, manufactures, sells, and services a lineup of Class 4-8 commercial trucks in the United States.



How is that going to get over ramps ?
Maybe the skirts are just to attract attention.

I am sure it will work and can drive on the level and up inclines.
At least it is being promoted by reputable manufacturers.
So I better wish them well.


I did a (very) quick check up on how many trucks are produced by the makers who are looking to hydrogen for long distance heavy transport, and how many by Tesla (!) and VAG who reckon batteries can do the job.

VAG trucking is Traton, divided between Scania and Man, which is only just hanging on in there:

Taken together they are only ballpark similar size to Hino, or Volvo, which are both going for hydrogen, whilst Daimler is around twice the size.

I did not bother checking all the rest, as they are uniformly looking to hydrogen, as are the Chinese makers, with CCP policy having decided on hydrogen or derivatives for long distance trucking.

They ran at 2.98 million heavy trucks for 2020 according to Statistica.

A common criticism of hydrogen is 'not enough filling stations'

How the heck are they going to build out charging stations for heavy trucking long distance?

They are very expensive, due to the high rate of charge needed and the grid load.

The only possible answer is that Tesla would have to build them, issuing yet more shares to cover it.

VAG has chosen batteries because they can't finance fuel cell long distance anyway, with their participation through Man in trucking in doubt anyway.

And it supports their subsidy grubbing for long distance BEVs to make wild claims of the capabilities of their imaginary future batteries.

Massive subsidies in Europe right now are far more important than the remainder of their trucking division.



Maybe it is a Southern California low-rider with hydraulic lifts in the suspension so that it can dance to the music:>) Actually, the lower edges of the aerodynamic skirts are made of a soft elastic material that deforms as needed. The skirts on the Hino prototype are not lower than commonly used on other new North American trucks.


I do not think that battery powered trucks are ready for long haul trucking but if you read the first article today, researchers at National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are looking ahead and working on the charger problem. Also, if you read the second article, you would notice that Hino is hedging their bets and working with Allison on building Class 6 ,7, and 8 battery electric trucks. And down a few more places is an article titled "California JETSI to deploy 100 battery-electric regional haul and drayage trucks". I think that battery-electric local and regional delivery and drayage trucks are probably close to being economically viable and shortly the costs will tip to where it will be uneconomic to run diesel. You mentioned Daimler in your response. Daimler owns Freightliner in the US which is a major truck US builder, maybe the largest. Anyway, Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) will deliver 80 battery-electric Freightliner eCascadias, the company’s first all-electric commercial Class 8 truck, while Volvo North America will deliver the other 20 trucks for the California Drayage Project. I do not know what if anything is happening with Tesla's Semi-Tractor project but at least Freightliner and Volvo have operating battery-electric Class 8 trucks. See

I think that it is smarter to spend what funds are available on battery-electric short haul and local delivery trucks first and worry about long haul trucks later. Maybe fuel cell long haul trucks will become economically viable or maybe we will have fast charging battery-electric long hauls trucks or maybe a mix. In the end, it will depend on the economics and the energy cost of battery-electric will be less if the hydrogen must be made from electrolysis.


long haul trucks later
I agree


Class 7-8 trucks get about 5 -6 mpg or a sixth of a US car so with a battery say 0.5 miles per kWh since they mostly travel at highway speeds - even that is probably generous. So even for only 100 miles range they need a 200 kWh battery. Weighing at least a tonne. These trucks travel 80,000 miles a year or 1600 miles a week. When I last looked, about 280,000 Class 7 and 8 trucks were sold in the US every year, probably less now. How many super super chargers would be needed every 100 miles, to cater for the 2.3 million of these heaviest trucks trundling along on US highways?



I believe that class 8 tractor trailer trucks get about 7-9 mpg but it depends on the load and the speed. Aerodynamics is really important. These trucks typically have from 350 to more than 500 hp (~250-400 kW). The battery-electric Freightliner eCascadia has 500 hp (375kW) with up to 475 kWhr and a range of approximately 250 miles. However, most of these trucks would be used for local and regional delivery and drayage so they are not running at high continuous speeds or high continuous power and can use regeneration for stop and go operations. Also, they would mostly be used during normal business hours so they can be charged at reasonable levels overnight. See

I wondered why there was some much truck information in the past 2 days but there was a Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Long Beach, California this week

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