In addition to the 161-kilometre range, the new edition offers greater suitability for everyday use and better maneuverability. This is due in part to the newly designed fuel accommodation, which allowed the driver’s cab to be enlarged without extending the wheelbase.
Since April 2017, Toyota has been testing a hydrogen-powered fuel cell drive especially for heavy trucks, the so-called “Project Portal”, which will enable almost noiseless and pollution-free freight traffic. Since then, more than 16,000 test kilometers have been unwound in and around the Californian ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles as part of cargo handling.
The Alpha truck develops more than 670 hp and a maximum torque of almost 1,800 Nm. This is made possible by two fuel cell stacks, which are already in use in the Mirai sedan, as well as a 12 kWh strong and thus relatively small battery. As in the passenger car model, the only emission is water vapor.
The the truck offers the same advantages – with improved range and modifications in other key areas. The trial phase starts in autumn. “By evaluating the first truck in our test facilities and on real-life roads in the Los Angeles area, we have drawn up a list of improvements to the production and performance of the beta truck,” said Andrew Lund, chief engineer of the project. “After the first truck proved its basic feasibility, we needed something that was not only better than the first model, but also more commercially viable.”
Toyota sees a huge market potential: More than 16,000 trucks are in service in the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles alone, and this number will double by 2030. They affect the climate and quality of life by the typical pollutant and noise emissions of conventional combustion engines. Fuel cell trucks address this problem, making an important contribution to the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050, which aims to significantly reduce CO2 emissions from both Toyota models and the entire business.
Vehicle technology is not the only field of activity of Toyota’s fuel cell experts. The Japanese company recently announced the construction of the world’s first megawatt fuel cell power plant: The plant, called “Tri-Gen” in the port of Long Beach, will not only produce electricity, but will also house water and hydrogen from biowaste, as well as one of the largest hydrogen filling stations.