Kenworth/Toyota hands over 10 fuel cell trucks

Californian ports anti-pollution effort sees T680s go to four haulage firms

Kenworth/Toyota hands over 10 fuel cell trucks
Kenworth/Toyota fuel cell electric truck hauling a UPS trailer


Kenworth’s defence of its electric-truck market future has taken another step in the face of upstart manufacturers, with its joint venture with Toyota presenting 10 fuel cell electric heavy-duty prime movers to customers in southern California.

On Earth Day, a day before the start of the Advance Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo and just after upstart truck-builder Nikola revealed its alternative fuel refueling infrastructure plans, the event at the Port of Los Angeles also heard Shell announce it will build two large-capacity heavy-duty hydrogen refueling stations.   

They are to be located at Toyota Logistics Services Long Beach and Gardena R&D facilities to form an integrated, five station heavy-duty hydrogen refueling network for the Los Angeles basin. 

Toyota Logistics Services (TLS) takes four of the jointly developed heavy-duty fuel cell electric trucks (FCET) as part of the Zero-and-Near-Zero Emission Freight Facilities Project (ZANZEFF), hauling cargo received at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, throughout the LA basin.

Three go to United Parcel Services (UPS), Total Transportation Services gets two and Southern Counties Express has one.

"As a company always looking for the next innovative technology to better serve our customers, UPS was very pleased to be selected as a demonstrating partner for the hydrogen fuel cell electric semi project,", UPS president of global fleet maintenance and engineering Carlton Rose says.

Read about the Paccar emissionless models unveiled in the US this year, here

ZANZEFF brings together Toyota, Kenworth, the Port of Los Angeles and the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the latter granting US$41 million (A$58 million) for the project.

"The collaboration between the Port of Los Angeles, Kenworth, Toyota and Shell is providing an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the viability of fuel cell electric technology in both drayage service and regional haul commercial vehicle applications operating in southern California," Kenworth GM and Paccar vice president Mike Dozier says.

"The performance of the 10 Kenworth Class 8 trucks being developed under this program, the first of which debuted today, is targeted to meet or exceed that of a diesel-powered truck, while producing water as the only emissions by-product."

ZANZEFF is one of many efforts over decades to reduce vehicle-sourced air pollution in LA, particularly around the ports, which host 16,000 conventional container-haulage trucks – a figure expected to double by 2030.

They are based on the T680, the trucks  expand on the capabilities of Toyota’s first two Project Portal proof of concept trucks "through enhanced capability, packaging, and performance; offering an estimated range of more than 300 miles [450km] per fill, twice that of a typical drayage trucks' average daily duty cycle", the Toyota says.

"Toyota is committed to fuel cell electric technology as a powertrain for the future because it’s a clean, scalable platform that can meet a broad range of mobility needs with zero emissions," Toyota executive vice president for automotive operations Bob Carter says.

"The ZANZEFF collaboration and the innovative Shore-to-Store project allow us to move heavy-duty truck fuel cell electric technology towards commercialisation."

The company reports the Project Portal Alpha and Beta heavy-duty trucks have logged more than 14,000 miles (22,500km) of testing and real-world operations in and around the ports.

The first Kenworth/Toyota FCET under the ZANZEFF project will begin haulage operations in the fourth quarter, increasing the ports’ zero emission trucking capacity and further reducing the environmental impact of drayage operations.

Meanwhile, Toyota is going ahead with its Tri-Gen facility, saying it will be the first megawatt-sized carbonate fuel cell power generation plant with hydrogen refueling in the world.

With an echo of Scania’s alternative fuel production effort in Queensland, the 100 per cent renewable plant will use agricultural waste to generate water, electricity, and hydrogen to support TLS operations at the Port of Long Beach.


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