Toyota’s heavy-duty fuel cell truck project moves from alpha to beta

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In 2017, we took a look at Project Portal, Toyota’s plan to check a heavy-duty, zero-emissions truck on the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles in California. The concept was to energy an 80,000lb (36,288kg) Class-Eight tractor-trailer with hydrogen fuel cells after which put it to work hauling delivery containers at one of many nation’s busiest ports. Now, Toyota has taken the teachings it has realized from 10,000 miles of arduous work as a drayage truck and constructed a second-generation automobile with much more vary.

The first truck, generally known as Alpha, used a pair of improvement powertrains from the Mirai sedan operating in collection. These gave it 670hp (500kW), 1,325ft-lbs (1,796Nm), and a spread of 200 miles (321km). Even although Toyota has not elevated the capability of the 12kWh lithium-ion batteries on the brand new Beta truck, it has managed to enhance that vary by 50 p.c to greater than 300 miles (482km) between refueling. Beta retains the identical energy and torque output as its predecessor.

The second-generation truck now sports activities a sleeper cab and a revised hydrogen fuel storage system that frees up extra inside house with out requiring an extended wheelbase. Toyota says that Beta can also be extra maneuverable than the sooner Alpha truck.

“By evaluating the first truck in our test facilities and on the actual roads in the LA area, we made a list of improvements for the Beta truck build process and performance enhancements,” mentioned Andrew Lund, chief engineer for the project. “We needed to move beyond a proof of concept, which the first truck accomplished, to something that is not only better than the original but is also more commercially viable.”

Toyota notes in its press launch that greater than 16,000 vehicles are in operation on the two ports in Southern California. And the short-haul nature of those massive automobiles means they’re ripe candidates for zero-emissions powertrains. Like electric buses and hybrid garbage trucks, their every day obligation cycles contain a number of stop-start driving—good for regenerative braking—and loads of idling. And there is no want to construct out in depth refueling infrastructure for the reason that journeys are localized to a comparatively small geographic space. Replacing present fleets of soiled diesel automobiles with ones that emit nothing however water would certainly be factor so far as native air high quality is anxious.

Listing picture by Toyota

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