Toyota’s Hydrogen Fuel Cell Kenworth Can Revolutionize Heavy Transport
“We took two Mirai vehicles, tore them apart and integrated components into the Kenworth. This was a fast development program. The tanks are larger. Battery is larger. Motors are completely different from Mirai. But the two fuel-cell stacks are Mirai production units. The main purpose is to prove scalability of the Mirai system with little change to the rest of the truck. Our system can pull an 80,000-lb. combined load up a hill,” says Chris Rovik, engineering manager of Toyota Motor North America’s “Portal Project,” an effort to develop a fleet of zero-emission semi tractor-trailers to haul freight from the world’s two busiest container ports, Long Beach and Los Angeles, to a railhead well beyond the densely populated Southern California coastline. The I-710 freeway corridor in and out of these twin ports is nicknamed “cancer alley” because diesel emissions have blanketed the area for decades. The ports are not allowed to expand because of their current high levels of pollution.