Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Semi Ready to Go to Work

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By Brian Normile 

Since it was first announced in April of this year, Toyota's Project Portal hydrogen fuel-cell semitruck has undergone further testing and development. With those updates and test miles completed, Toyota is ready to put it to work.

The Project Portal big rig, powered by two Toyota Mirai fuel-cell stacks and a 12-kilowatt-hour battery pack, produces claimed power figures in excess of 670 horsepower and 1,325 pounds-feet of torque, and has a gross combined weight rating of 80,000 pounds. While Project Portal is a semi, if fuel-cell technology and infrastructure improve enough in the future to allow Toyota to put a similar powertrain into a pickup truck, then even halving those numbers would make for a very impressive pickup — on paper.

With 4,000-plus test miles on the odometer and nothing but questionably potable water vapor emitted, the next test for Project Portal is to actually do some work, beginning Oct. 23. The truck will travel from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to various railyards and warehouses while carrying goods from Toyota's Service Parts Accessories Operations and Toyota's local shipping partner, Southern Counties Express.

That means if you buy accessories for your Toyota or replace some parts later this month, there's a slim chance that your parts were carried by Project Portal. That's a fun bit of trivia if nothing else.

Toyota expects the semi to log about 200 miles a day, providing the real-world data needed to assess capability of the fuel-cell system. Longer routes will be added as time goes on.

Manufacturer image

Comments

Good job Toyota.
We need to stop burning fossil fuels.

GM rules Ford Sucks- you know where H2 comes from, right? Its reformed from CH4 or made from water and lots of (coal fired) electricity.

You need to read this Mr knowitall.

https://phys.org/news/2017-10-nanomaterial-hydrogen-fuel-seawater.html

We need to stop burning fossil fuels. Posted by: GM rules Ford Sucks | Oct 16, 2017

Great Idea!

Let's start with YOUR family, YOUR schools, YOUR hospitals, YOUR church, YOUR truck, YOUR employer.

Let us know how that goes.

Papa knows all about the term "Fossil"

Good for Toyota. But it's still strange that Toyota would use a Kenworth tractor when they have their own heavy truck unit, Hino. Couldn't Hino have cobbled something together instead?

@ Mr Knowitall - Where I live all our electricity is produced from Water Dam's , 100 % clean energy. We also produce way more electricity than needed and excess energy is sold to the U.S.

That Toyota sure looks like a Kenworth 660 to me.

680 I meant.

@Old GM Guy and @imoore: Good point!

What I found is that it is a kenworth, t680 glidder

knows all about the term "Fossil" Posted by: Nitro | Oct 16, 2017

@Nitro

The only fossil you ever saw is in your shorts. sorry

Geez guys.
Rodney Dangerfield coined the term "no respect". And that was back in high school. Is that where we are again.

Interesting article.

What happen when the power goes out for two weeks after a hurricane, You wont' be able to even start your truck.

4,000 test miles???????? LMFAO the average trucker logs 1 MILLION miles in 9yrs. 4,000 miles is 10 day trip. hahahahahahaha" just like the CNG trucks I see once a week, they were" ready to roll" in 2006 hehe

2019 RAM UNCOVERED!
https://www.autoblog.com/2017/10/16/2019-ram-1500-pickup-truck-spy-shots/

The problem is someone needs to cover huge development costs for that missing fuel cell infrastructure.

someone needs to cover huge development costs for that missing fuel cell infrastructure. Posted by: Ken | Oct 16, 2017

@Ken

Not to mention...Time It will take a very long time to equal or exceed the current fossil fuels architecture that's taken a century to build and refine.

The truck in the picture rides very smooth compared to a half ton GM. I would take one of those any day.

Well said papjim, Just like your other comments that make no sense...

The truck in the picture rides very smooth compared to a half ton GM. I would take one of those any day.

Posted by: papjim | Oct 17, 2017 7:55:31 AM

Nitro, the GM half ton rides much smoother then the "military grade" (hahaha) half ton.

The truck in the picture rides very smooth compared to a half ton GM. I would take one of those any day

@Nitro

since you've never driven a semi before, and you've never driven a half ton GM truck before, I guess that makes you an armchair expert.

@papa, you actually said that half tons ride bad, remember? You said that, and the above, not me, which is why you are now no longer a contributor to the threads. If you do not have actual experience on these subjects you should stick with the bicycle forums. I have never driven a big rig, only construction dump trucks.

@Nitro

You cannot be helped.

When you buy a new one, does the box say "batteries not included"?

@papa- comment thrown out due to lack of knowledge.

"The Project Portal big rig, powered by two Toyota Mirai fuel-cell stacks and a 12-kilowatt-hour battery pack, produces claimed power figures in excess of 670 horsepower and 1,325 pounds-feet of torque,"

Interesting that they make these claims when supposedly ONE Mirai fuel cell stack only produces the equivalent of 150 hp and somewhere in the 2xx pounds-feet of torque. The only real difference then is the battery pack being twice as large and much bigger motors. And this thing's likely to drink through hydrogen at a prohibitive rate.

That said, this is probably one of the best uses for fuel cells in transportation. I do believe they're underpowered as far as the supporting battery pack but if this is intended for in-city work exclusively, then maybe it's enough.

"GM rules Ford Sucks- you know where H2 comes from, right? Its reformed from CH4 or made from water and lots of (coal fired) electricity."
---- Posted by: Mr Knowitall | Oct 16, 2017 9:45:15 AM

CH4 is a hydrocarbon, like natural gas or petroleum. It is 'reformed' by using high-pressure steam, meaning that whether you reform CH4 or electrolyze it straight out of water, you're using massive amounts of electricity.

End result: You get something like 20% or better efficiency by just putting that electricity straight into the batteries as the average efficiency of a BEV is like 88% vs the HFCV at around 64%. Granted, the HFCV is almost 3x as efficient as gasoline but is only about 50% more efficient than diesel.



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