Toyota and Kenworth Collaborate to Develop a Hydrogen-powered Heavy Truck

The North-American division of Japanese giant Toyota is teaming up with manufacturer Kenworth to develop a zero-emission heavy truck.

A fleet of 10 Kenworth T680 semi-trailer trucks will receive a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain conceived with Toyota’s expertise, and will be used from 2020 in the ports of Los Angeles in California. These trucks will transport merchandise to inland cities such as Ontario and San Bernardino emitting nothing more than water vapour.

“This is an excellent opportunity for Kenworth and Toyota to work together to both explore and drive the development of advanced zero-emission technologies that will play a critical role in the commercial transportation of the future,” said Mike Dozier, Kenworth general manager and PACCAR vice president.

Little technical information has been revealed regarding the electric powertrain of these T680 trucks, but output is set at 560 horsepower. In comparison, combustion engines currently available in the regular T680 boast outputs varying between 320 and 605 hp—with peak torque varying from 1,150 to 2,050 pound-feet. In addition, driving range between hydrogen fill-ups is estimated at 300 miles (480 kilometres) and top speed is set at 65 mph (104 km/h).

According to Kenworth, the T680 is its most aerodynamic and most technologically advanced truck. As a matter of fact, it can be equipped with electronic safety features such as adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation, lane departure warning and side object detection.

Obviously, a hydrogen station infrastructure also has to be set up. However, the two manufacturers and the Port of Los Angeles benefit from a USD$41 million grant by the California Air Resources Board to accomplish their project. In the next few years, we could see a significant air pollution reduction in the transport industry, which is excellent news.

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