Trucker 6468 Kwhydrogen

Kenworth shows off fuel cell-powered T680

Jan. 10, 2018
Hydrogen is turned into zero-emission electricity and gives this tractor 150 miles worth of range.

Kenworth Truck Co. showed off a T680 day cab equipped with a hydrogen-fired fuel cell at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week in Las Vegas – part of the Zero Emission Cargo Transport (ZECT) demonstration project managed through Southern California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD).

The T680 day cab’s fuel cell combines compressed hydrogen gas and air to produce electricity with water vapor the only exhaust, the OEM said.

The truck maker, a division of PACCAR, added that the electricity produced by the fuel cell can wither power the dual-rotor electric motors to move the truck, or recharge its lithium-ion battery pack for later use. Total range for this truck is 150 miles, noted Stephan Olsen, Kenworth’s director of product planning, which makes it ideal for short haul and port operations.

“The T680 has been running trials in the Seattle area and performing very well. The next step is real-world testing with Total Transportation Services Inc. (TTSI) at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in Southern California,” he said.

Olsen added that this T680’s dual-rotor traction motor cranks out 565 hp, which makes the truck capable of carrying the legal gross combination weight of a Class 8 vehicle.

“Our testing shows that this truck performs equally as well, if not better than, current diesel trucks on the market,” he said. “There is a lot of promise, and we see the day where Kenworth’s zero and near-zero emission trucks could be a common sight in regional operations. Kenworth is heavily focused on the evaluation and development of both zero and near-zero emission solutions for the trucking industry.”

To develop this hydrogen-fired T680, Kenworth said it received $2.8 million in funding under a larger grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), with SCAQMD being the prime applicant.

Project oversight is provided by the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE).

Kenworth added that it is also working on a second project under the larger program for DOE and SCAQMD to develop a near-zero emission-capable T680 day cab using a near-zero natural gas engine and generator to extend the battery range.

About the Author

American Trucker staff

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