The possible future of heavy-duty trucking has hit the streets in the form of Toyota Motor North America’s “Project Portal”, a hydrogen fuel-cell system designed for heavy-duty truck use. The zero-emission class 8 truck proof of concept has completed more than 6400 successful development kilometres, while progressively pulling drayage-rated cargo weight, and emitting nothing but water vapour.
With testing and development completed, Project Portal is ready to go to work. Initial feasibility study routes, moving goods from select Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach terminals to surrounding rail yards and warehouses for distribution, begin on 23 October. It’s estimated the truck’s daily trips will total around 320 kilometres.
These localised, frequent route patterns are designed to test the demanding drayage duty-cycle capabilities of the fuel-cell system while capturing real-world performance data. As the study progresses, longer-haul routes will be introduced.
Revealed in April 2017, Project Portal is the next step in Toyota’s effort to broaden the application of zero-emission fuel-cell technology that can serve a range of industries. It is a fully functioning heavy-duty truck with the power and torque capacity to conduct port drayage operations while producing zero emissions.
Heavy-duty vehicles make up a significant percentage of the annual emissions output at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and the Project Portal feasibility study may provide another path to further reduce emissions.
The Project Portal heavy-duty truck concept generates more than 670 horsepower and 1796Nm of torque from two Mirai fuel-cell stacks and a 12kWh battery, a relatively small battery to support class 8 load operations. The concept’s gross combined weight capacity is 36,287kg, and its estimated driving range is more than 320km per fill, under normal drayage operation.