Toyota to assemble fuel cell modules for heavy trucks

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky will begin assembling integrated dual fuel cell modules for heavy-duty fuel-cell-electric trucks by 2023.

“We’re bringing our proven electric technology to a whole new class of production vehicles,” president and chief executive officer Tetsuo Ogawa says in a related press release. “Heavy-duty truck manufacturers will be able to buy a fully integrated and validated fuel cell electric drive system, allowing them to offer their customers an emissions-free option in the Class 8 heavy-duty segment.”

Toyota fuel cell module
(Photo: Toyota)

The dual fuel cell modules to be assembled at the plant weigh about 1,400 lb. and will deliver up to 160 kW of continuous power.

“It delivers over 300 miles [482 km] of range at a full load weight of 80,000 lb., all while demonstrating exceptional drivability, quiet operation and zero harmful emissions,” says David Rosier, Toyota Kentucky powertrain head.

The related kit will also include a high-voltage battery, electric motors, transmission, and hydrogen storage from different suppliers. The OEM says it will also help truck manufacturers integrate the powertrains.

Toyota has already been working with Kenworth on fuel-cell-electric offerings, and late last year it rolled out a pair of production-intent T680 prototypes for work around Southern California ports. Those units – delivered to Toyota Logistics Services and Southern Counties Express — were built under the Zero and Near Zero Emissions Freight Forwarding project sponsored by California.

Hino is also working alongside its Toyota parent to develop a Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell truck for the North American market, and has unveiled a prototype of its own. That will represent the first time Hino has worked with its parent company on a joint engineering project in the region.

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