From Los Angeles to Long Beach, Toyota hydrogen truck is already making its first deliveries
By: Fedora Atjeh | Oktober 12, 2017
A few months ago Toyota unveiled its most striking industrial vehicle offensive. The Japanese manufacturer has taken out of the sleeve a hydrogen engine composed of two Toyota Mirai engines embedded inside a Kenworth tractor head that already proved to be able to accelerate much faster than a diesel homolog, both loaded with 16,000 kg.
Under the name "Project Portal", its truck promises a clean and efficient technology as well as very capable, but it seemed only a technological exercise. Nothing further from the reality, because the Japanese manufacturer has unveiled that his truck is already making the first short-haul routes in the ports of California.
Making limited commutes between the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, the Toyota truck is using these frequent routes between terminals as a testing laboratory to check the fitness of its power plant and as a source of data to analyze and continue its development in a real environment. If everything goes well, the routes will expand as the engineers see that the mechanics respond, giving green light to increasingly ambitious and demanding tests.
The motorization as currently configured is capable of producing more than generous 675 horsepower and 1,800 Nm of torque to move 36,000 kg of weight. With the hydrogen tanks fully charged, the current maximum range is 320 km, plus the electric input of a 12 kWh battery but is too small to provide autonomy by itself.
Meanwhile, General Motors is working on an alternative to the Toyota Offensive with SURUS (Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure), something like a modular platform for trucks with fuel cell that could be able to cover distances of 640 km.
Neither of the two brands has confirmed that they are going to bring their prototypes to production, but Nikola One, who appears to be taking the initiative in the hydrogen trucks, presented in December 2016 and theoretically in the market in 2021 with autonomies between 1,300 and 2,000 km and with the support of a giant like Bosch putting the e-Axle engines.