Toyota Motor North America Advances Fuel Cell Electric Tech on Heavy-Duty Truck Prototype

"This is an important step in the transition to emissions-free heavy-duty trucks," according to TMNA Research and Development's chief engineer Andrew Lund.

Plano-based Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) has launched its next-gen electric technology in its new set of Class 8 heavy-duty trucks. 

TMNA’s Research and Development engineers created the production-intent prototype trucks, which will be running drayage routes at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to solidify their performance, efficiency, and drivability, according to a statement.

TMNA says that reducing airborne pollution at the L.A. and Long Beach ports is an important driver of the program.

“This is an important step in the transition to emissions-free heavy-duty trucks,” Andrew Lund, chief engineer, TMNA Research and Development, said in a statement. 

[Image: Courtesy Toyota Motor North America]

The new fuel cell electric system was designed to work for the needs of a wide variety of OEM truck makers, according to a statement. The fuel cell system can deliver over 300 miles of range at a full load weight of 80,000 pounds without releasing any harmful emissions.

“Our first prototype trucks proved that a fuel cell electric powertrain was capable of hauling heavy cargo on a daily basis,” Lund said. “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.”

The next-gen electric tech aligns with the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050, which has almost completely eliminating CO2 emissions from TMNA’s vehicles, operations, and supply chain by 2050 among its goals.

By converting the drayage trucks currently being used at the L.A. and Long Beach ports, TMNA says it would move the company closer to the aforementioned goal. It should also improve the quality of life of operators, workers, and communities near the ports.

The next-gen tech is also being used in TMNA’s new 2021 Mirai sedan, which TMNA called the “ultimate eco-cars” in a previous statement.

The all-new Toyota Mirai [Image: Courtesy Toyota Motor North America]

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