Toyota's next generation fuel cell electric technology is now powering a new set of heavy-duty trucks. Using the same fuel cell system as the all-new 2021 Mirai sedan, the engineers at Toyota Motor North America Research and Development have developed a set of production-intent prototype trucks that are being prepared to run routes at the ports of L.A. and Long Beach to validate their performance, efficiency and drivability.
Designed to be flexible enough to meet the needs of a wide variety of OEM truck makers, 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 helps smooth out the power flow to the electric motors. In this configuration, the second generation fuel cell system delivers over 483 km of range at a full load weight of more than 36,000 kilos, all while demonstrating exceptional drivability, quiet operation, and zero harmful emissions.
Andrew Lund, Chief Engineer, Toyota Motor North America Research and Development said, "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."