Japanese automaker Toyota has announced that a concept version of a hydrogen-fueled semi will ply certain routes in Los Angeles.
In a press release, Toyota wrote that “If you see a big-rig driving around the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach that seems oddly quiet and quick, do not be alarmed! It’s just the future”.
The truck uses a hydrogen fuel cell technology that is designed for heavy hauling. Although the technology is still under further improvements, the dry run to LA shows that the Japanese automaker is serious about perfecting a zero-emissions heavy-duty truck.
The specialized hydrogen fuel cell system will be tested during its scheduled initial feasibility study operations, moving goods from select terminals at the Port of LA and Long Beach to rail yards and warehouses located nearby.
The dry run will begin on October 23 and the truck is expected to cover some 322 kilometers (200 miles). The distance will help test the capabilities of the fuel cell system’s duty-cycle.
Longer trips will be introduced afterward.
Toyota said that the truck has already covered roughly 6,437 kilometers (4,000 miles) in development tests while pulling a maximum progressive weight of 36,287 kilograms (80,000 pounds) of cargo.
The zero-emissions heavy-duty proof-of-concept truck features two Mirai fuel cell stacks that are combined with a 12kWh battery. With a 1,325 pound-feet of torque, it packs a horsepower of 670.
The emission? Only water vapor.
During the scheduled short-haul trips, the concept truck will be refueled often. The run of around 200 miles per day will allow Toyota to see what happens to the cell packs when the fuel system is cycled frequently.
Toyota plans to conduct longer runs over time, which is part of the long-term plans to reduce emissions in the Port of LA.
According to executive vice-president for Toyota’s North America operations, Bob Carter, “Toyota has led the way in expanding the understanding and adoption of fuel cell technology. From the introduction of the Mirai passenger vehicle to the creation of the heavy-duty fuel cell system in Project Portal, Toyota continues to demonstrate the versatility and scalability of the zero-emission fuel cell powertrain.”