Fuel cell trucks on a roll

Riley Riley

Zero-emission trucks have taken a “great leap forward” with the unveiling of Toyota and Kenworth’s first jointly developed fuel cell electric heavy-duty truck (FCET).

The unveiling took place before a crowd of media, government officials and industry and community leaders during a special event held at the Port of Los Angeles in the United States.

The new generation zero-emission truck expands on Toyota’s first two Project Portal Proof of Concept trucks through enhanced capability, packaging, and performance.

It offers an estimated range of more than 480km per fill, twice that of a typical truck’s average daily duty cycle.

The latest FCET uses the Kenworth T680 Class 8 model combined with Toyota’s fuel cell electric technology and is part of the ZANZEFF project.

Pioneered by the Port of Los Angeles with leading support from Toyota, Kenworth, and Shell, the trailblazing endeavor provides a large-scale “Shore-to-Store” plan and a hydrogen fuel cell electric technology framework for freight facilities to structure operations for future goods movement.

The initiative will help reduce emissions by more than 450 tonnes of greenhouse gas and 0.72 weighted tonnes of NOx, ROG and PM10.

Toyota and Kenworth will deploy a total of 10 trucks 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.

“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’s Executive Vice President for Automotive Operations, Bob Carter, said.

“The ZANZEFF collaboration and the innovative ‘Shore-to-Store’ project allow us to move Heavy-Duty Truck Fuel Cell Electric technology towards commercialisation.”

CARB has awarded $41 million dollars to the Port of Los Angeles for the ZANZEFF project as part of California Climate Investments, a California initiative that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment, particularly in disadvantaged communities.

“This substantial climate investment by the state, matched by the project partners, will help speed up the number of zero-emission trucks in the California communities and neighborhoods where they are needed the most,” CARB Chair, Mary D. Nichols, said.

“It will provide a real world at-work demonstration of innovative heavy-duty fuel cell electric technologies. The project offers a commercial solution to move cargo and freight around the state using zero-emission trucks and equipment that protect air quality and cut climate-changing emissions.”

Since operations began in April 2017, the Project Portal “Alpha” and “Beta” Proof of Concept Class 8 trucks have logged more than 22,000km of testing and real-world operations in and around the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach while emitting nothing but water vapor.

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

More than 16,000 trucks serve the Los Angeles and Long Beach port complexes, North America’s largest trade gateway for containerised cargo.

That number is expected to grow to 32,000 by 2030.

Currently, more than 43,000 freight trucks are in operation at ports across the United States.

The latest FCET utilises the Kenworth T680 Class 8 model combined with Toyota’s fuel cell electric technology

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