Photo: Neil Abt/Fleet Owner
The Kenworth T680 hydrogen fuel cell truck at the Port of Los Angeles on April 22.

Kenworth, Toyota present electric fuel cell truck to UPS

April 23, 2019
Kenworth Truck Co. and Toyota used Earth Day to present its first new, jointly developed hydrogen fuel cell electric heavy-duty truck to UPS Inc.

LOS ANGELES. Kenworth Truck Co. and Toyota Motor North America used Earth Day to present its first new, jointly developed hydrogen fuel cell electric heavy-duty truck to UPS Inc.

The presentation of the Kenworth T680 took place during a special gathering at the Port of Los Angeles one day prior to the start of the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo.

Back in January, Kenworth and Toyota announced plans to develop 10 electric hydrogen fuel cell heavy-duty trucks for the southern California market.

At Monday’s event, Bob Carter, Toyota’s executive vice president for automotive operations, said the truck provides an estimated range of more than 300 miles and enough torque to easily climb a 20% grade, even when fully loaded.

“These things really haul,” Carter said in his opening remarks about the trucks.

The Toyota-Kenworth partnership is part of a $41 million zero and near-zero emissions freight facilities (ZANZEFF) grant awarded by the California Air Resources Board.

Mike Dozier, general manager of Kenworth, called the grant funding a critical piece of the puzzle “to accelerate early development and field experience” of zero emission vehicles. 

By obtaining real-world data now, it will “ensure the end result delivers the products and infrastructure that will meet our customers’ requirements,” Dozier said.

The event at the Port of Los Angeles included a test drive in a prototype zero emission Kenworth truck build as part of Toyota’s “Project Portal.”

The truck was nearly silent during the short lap on a closed course. Over the course of the afternoon, the odometer on this prototype vehicle crossed the 4,000-mile mark.

Since operations began in April 2017, the “Project Portal” trucks have logged more than 14,000 miles of testing and real-world drayage operations in and around the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

“The performance of the 10 Kenworth heavy-duty trucks being developed under this program is targeted to meet or exceed that of a diesel, while producing water as the only emissions byproduct,” Dozier said.

Eventually, these fuel cell trucks will move cargo from the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports throughout the Los Angeles area, the Inland Empire, the Port of Hueneme and eventually to Merced. The trucks will be operated by Toyota Logistics Services, UPS, Total Transportation Services Inc. and Southern Counties Express. 

In addition, two heavy-duty hydrogen fueling stations will be developed by Shell in the local area. There are already three other stations in the region.

“It’s an honor for UPS to be collaborating with Toyota, Shell and Kenworth on such a trail-blazing project,” said Carlton Rose, president of global fleet maintenance and engineering for UPS.

Judy Mitchell, who attended the event on behalf of CARB and the South Coast Air Quality Management District, stressed the groups view fuel cell as “a real star” as they look at ways to get more zero or near-zero emissions vehicles on the state’s roads. 

Likewise, Gene Seroka, executive director of Port of L.A., said the nation’s largest port complex will “continue to look for opportunities” to promote projects like Kenworth-Toyota partnership as it moves toward requiring zero emission trucks by 2035.

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