Truck powered by hydrogen fuel cell to work in LA port News

Truck powered by hydrogen fuel cell to work in LA port

04.25.2017 - 5:25 PM Comments: 0

Truckers coming and going at the Port of Los Angeles this summer will see Toyota’s new zero-emission, hydrogen fuel cell powered Class 8 truck at work.

Toyota Motor North America, Inc. Wednesday, April 19, announced its Project Portal hydrogen-fuel cell system truck work in the ports is part of a feasibility study to examine the potential of fuel cell technology in heavy duty applications. The test is part of the port’s efforts to reduce emissions.

There has been visible development on using the cost-effective equipment. Meanwhile, Toyota Company has been taking the lead in hydrogen fuel technology, and they plan to build a fleet of hydrogen-powered trucks.

These hydrogen fuel cells use compressed hydrogen as their fuel and expel only water vapor as an emission, and this development has been in development for decades, but of recent have they attained performance and range numbers good enough to replace an average driver's gasoline-powered car.

Survey revealed that hydrogen is yet to take off as a propulsion technology due to the chronic shortage in fueling stations. Commercial vehicles, like forklifts, trucks, etc., could benefit more from hydrogen as predicted by experts, all this to make accessibility to centralized, industrial fueling stations at ports or warehouses easier.

The next step in Toyota’s effort is the project portal to expand the application of zero-emission fuel cell technology that can reach a range of industries. It is an entirely functioning heavy duty truck with the power and torque capacity to undertake port drayage tasks while emitting nothing but water vapor, according to Toyota.

The Project Portal platform is designed to provide the target performance needed to support port drayage tasks. The truck produces more than 670 horsepower and 1,325-pound-feet of torque from two Mirai fuel cell stacks and a 12kWh battery, a relatively small battery to support Class 8 load operations, according to a statement from the company. The concept’s gross total weight capacity is 80,000 lbs., and its estimated driving range exceeds 200 miles per fill, under normal drayage operation.

The neighboring ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, America's busiest container facilities, have desirous goals for lessening emissions. Their joint Clean Air Action Plan calls for a zero-emissions drayage fleet by 2035 and zero-emissions terminal tools by 2030. The main motives would require the deployment of 100,000 zero-emissions vehicles in the next 15 years, and the sum cost would be in the range of $14 billion, deduced from an estimate prepared for the ports. The Port of Los Angeles and terminal operator Pasha are already trialing electric trucks and forklifts, yard tractors and drayage tools that could be used to complete the requirements.

In Bob Carter's, executive vice-president for Toyota's North America operations, words as curled from the press release revealed that "It's no longer hearsay that Toyota has led the way in expanding the adoption of fuel cell technology,"

Toyota continues to demonstrate the flexibility of the zero-emission fuel cell powertrain.

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