Toyota’s heavy-duty fuel cell truck project moves from alpha to beta
In 2017, we took a look at Project Portal, Toyota’s plan to test a heavy-duty, zero-emissions truck at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles in California. The idea was to power an 80,000lb (36,288kg) Class-8 tractor-trailer with hydrogen fuel cells and then put it to work hauling shipping containers at one of the nation’s busiest ports. Now, Toyota has taken the lessons it has learned from 10,000 miles of hard work as a drayage truck and built a second-generation vehicle with even more range.
The first truck, known as Alpha, used a pair of development powertrains from the Mirai sedan running in series. These gave it 670hp (500kW), 1,325ft-lbs (1,796Nm), and a range of 200 miles (321km). Even though Toyota has not increased the capacity of the 12kWh lithium-ion batteries on the new Beta truck, it has managed to boost that range by 50 percent to more than 300 miles (482km) between refueling. Beta retains the same power and torque output as its predecessor.