Fuel cell electric truck performance matches diesel in Toyota, Kenworth testDecember 15, 2022
The ZANZEFF “Shore to Store” project showed the vehicles can be used the same way, emission-free.
Toyota Motor North America and the Kenworth Truck Company recently announced that they have used testing to show that fuel cell electric truck performance can match that of equivalent diesel-powered vehicles.
Their test involved the capabilities of jointly designed zero carbon emission heavy-duty Class 8 FCEVs.
The companies jointly designed the fuel cell electric truck and tested it as a zero-emission replacement for diesel-powered trucks. The vehicles were used as a part of the operations at the Zero- and Near-Zero Emissions Freight Facilities (ZANZEFF) “Shore to Shore” project which took place at the Port of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Basin and the Inland Empire.
The companies’ main reason for collaborating in this project had to do with finding ways to replace diesel-powered drayage trucks with zero-emission, sustainable alternative solutions in heavy-duty transportation. The Toyota-Kenworth T680 FCEF vehicle’s baseline – which was operated under the codename “Ocean” – was a 2017 diesel engine which required approximately 200 miles of daily operation.
The T680 H2-powered vehicle had a range of just over 300 miles on a full tank and while fully loaded to 82,000 pounds (GCWR), without the need of any mid-shift downtimes to recharge as would have been the case with a battery electric vehicle. The fill time for the H2 tanks was between 15 and 20 minutes. As a result, it was able to operate for multiple daily shifts, covering between 400 and 500 daily miles.
The companies collaborated on the hydrogen fuel cell electric truck design and building.
Kenworth was responsible for the Class 8 T680 FCEV’s design and building, while Toyota was behind the design and building of the powertrain’s H2-powered fuel cell electric power system. According to the automaker, the use of the Ocean trucks led to a greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction of an estimated 74.66 metric tons per vehicle per year when compared to the equivalent diesel-powered engine used for equivalent tasks.
The ten fuel cell electric truck models used in the test served real-world customers in a project that involved Toyota and Kenworth as well as the Port of Los Angeles and Shell. The project was made possible through a California Air Resource Board (CARB) grant.
The project lays the groundwork for further developing H2-powered vehicle opportunities for commercial use. Though the ZANZEFF “Shore to Shore” project duties were officially completed for the fuel cell electric trucks back in August, they are continuing their use as demonstration and working models, including one that is still being used in the lower LA Basin to support Toyota’s operations there.
The fuel cell electric truck test project allowed the companies to test the H2 vehicles in real-world operations.
“Having a successful demonstration of Toyota’s scaled fuel cell electric power supply with real-world operations for actual customers opens the door to even broader future deployment, as the use of hydrogen helps to eliminate CO2 from heavy-duty transport while offering a cleaner alternative that keeps the vehicles in service, a win for all parties,” said Toyota chief engineer for zero emission advanced product planning Andrew Lund.
“The potential for this technology as a replacement for higher-emission powertrains is real and supports both regulatory and society initiatives to combat climate change while helping us achieve our own goals of carbon neutrality,” added Lund.
“Through the Shore to Store project, we demonstrated how Toyota’s advanced zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell technology could be scaled and used in our Kenworth T680,” added Kenworth chief engineer Joe Adams in a news release about the hydrogen fuel cell electric truck project. “We clearly showed that hydrogen is a viable clean fuel capable of powering commercial transportation for customers, matching diesel performance in range and power, with quick refueling for minimal downtime and smooth, quiet operation.”
Perfect results, the US government should now contract to place hydrogen fueling options along every major highway in the US, no reason to wait. Hydrogen is the only sustainable option to replace depleting oil and natural gas reserves world wide.
Renewable energy will soon replace the use of oil and natural gas. There are more important uses for oil and natural gas and governments worldwide will soon have to ban it’s use in the energy and transportation industries. Best to gear up for this hydrogen energy change and become an true active partner.
Countries should never accept criminal actions by another country so they have access to oil and natural gas in the future.
Beyond hydrogen distribution lies the incompletely solved problem: where does the hydrogen & the energy to produce it come from? Electrolysis is inefficient but better than not using wind & solar oversupply. Stripping hydrogen off methane leaves the dilemma: how to dispose of the carbon? Hopefully, all solvable problems.
I agree. Too many articles portray H2 as a solution. But H2 is not an energy source. It has to be created, concentrated, and pressurized, all of which takes energy, typically more than you get out of the H2 + O2 combustion. H2 is essentially a battery–a medium for energy storage that has inherent efficiency losses going into storage and coming out. It is also dangerous in that the flame is extremely hot and invisible, requiring well thought out safety measures. It may make sense in certain applications where excess sun or wind power is available to create it near a location where it can be used on an industrial scale, like a factory that uses fuel cells for electrical power and heat or a central hub for trucking. But the technology is further along for battery powered vehicles, including large trucks that can get up to around 300 miles on a charge. Beyond that the ICE still works best.
ICE is still the best for long haul, however, ICE via hydrogen combustion is something toyota and Mazda have been developing and is awesome. As for hydrogen generation: that is still an issue, and while recent developments in hydrolysis have netted much more efficient operation using water, it still requires energy input. The problem I see all around is that we aren’t thinking big enough with solutions, we need to step out of the box and start doing some Wiley Coyote thinking.
What if we made costal steam energy generation by using sea water and giant mirrors and lenses to focus the solar energy to make a boiler, get some steam engine action going. The future of energy generation is not a panacea a miracle pull to cure all our troubles, it’s a number of small things that work together to be productive. Right now we are trying to solve energy and environmental problems like making the minimum payment on a loanshark loan.
Hydrogen disperses quickly and is in a way safer than burning hydrocarbons. It won’t stay around if the space isn’t enclosed.
Tis curious how they don’t mention cost if operation. The inefficiencies of H2 keeps getting cast aside to push the “h2 is clean” narrative
Hydrogen-electric power for heavy duty trucks is a no-brainer because battery only becomes far to heavy as the load and range increases, and these long distance heavy load trucks are available from several manufacturers such as Volvo and Hyundai.
Excellent progress! I always viewed hydrogen as a possible answer since building my own hydrogen generator at my auto repair shop. I think it’s misguided to think batteries alone could be the answer to this issue.
If green hydrogen is used yes perfect for day use.
So far nobody has come up with a cost-effective way to produce it. They still rely on the other 4 hydrogen manufacturing processes which produces emissions.
What was the comparison in fuel cost? If you had a fleet of 100 trucks would there be enough hydrogen?
The EV crowd don’t realise that the “EV” solution is an environmental disaster.
1. Most EV charging is done at night, when people get home. Solar is out for a source.
2. Most EV charging source electricity is fossil fuel based.
3. Getting rid of Batteries and recycling is a huge issue.
4. If Lithium Batteries get damaged or overheat fires can’t be controlled and have to be left to burn out.
5. Hydrogen has proved safer due to the natural process of hydrogen concentration reducing quickly in normal atmospheric conditions of there was a leak. People think Hydrogen they think Hindenburg. Totally different situation.
6. Answer is to use renewables to create Hydrogen which then becomes the energy store without the need for chemical storage Batteries. It’s more green than any current EV solution which is not green in it’s current form. There are other alternatives to Lithium, but these are not getting much airtime. Wonder why….