The movement toward vehicles that produce lower and lower emissions has begun. The goal is to reach zero emissions if it’s at all possible and we seem to be able to put zero emissions powertrain in some of the smaller models we drive, but the large semi trucks on the roads continue to produce emissions that can be harmful. These vehicles represent a segment of the commercial vehicle market that’s used for hauling goods from one place to another, which is necessary, but if we’re going to have more zero-emissions vehicles offered on the market, we’re going to need to have these vehicles as part of the solution.
Toyota has worked to develop a hydrogen fuel cell semi truck to begin the testing needed to have a zero emissions truck that can get the work done that’s needed. This new project is called Project Portal and this truck will begin to make the ride between the ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach to show this truck can get the job done and head to where it needs to in order to deliver the items that it’s carrying in the trailer to the destination desired.
What is the Project Portal Semi Truck?
This impressive Toyota big rig is powered by two Mirai fuel cell stacks and a 12-kWh battery. The power produced is 670 horsepower and 1,325 lb.-ft. of torque to give the power needed to be able to move from a dead stop and carry a weight capacity of as much as 80,000 pounds. So far, this Project Portal class 8 truck has completed more than 4,000 miles of successful testing and development while pulling cargo and weight. In the process, this truck emitted water vapor as the only emissions from the exhaust.
The continued testing for the proof of concept will begin to expand later this month with an estimated daily distance of at least 200 miles per day, which is the range of the truck on a full hydrogen fuel cell. The routes designed will put the truck through more stringent testing and route patterns to that will show this truck is able to handle the job and give the performance needed to get the load to the destination that’s waiting for the products this truck will carry to the location where these items need to be delivered.
As this truck and others that are being developed by other companies begin to be used more, you can expect semi trucks to begin to have longer and longer ranges for the drive and the performance needed. We’ve heard of other companies that are working on EV models of these big rigs that can have a range that’s much longer than what the Project Portal truck offers. This is simply the first step toward having the right power and emissions from these large commercial vehicles that can prove the work can get done even with nothing but hydrogen being the fuel for the ride.