Take the Toyota Mirai, strip out its fuel cell stack, then do the same with another one and you’ll have the powerplant for a semi-truck, as the Toyota Project Portal shows.
The new Project Portal hydrogen semi-truck has been resented by Toyota at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles in California – and it’s not a prototype, because the fuel cell truck will go into service this summer. The Project Portal semi is on the outside your average class 8 big rig, ready to haul 80,000 pounds and do that for 200 miles between refuels. The fuel cell stack on the Mirai has 153 horsepower, the two combined in the semi actually get “more than 670 horsepower and 1325 pound feet of torque.” The semi even has a “relatively small” 12kWh battery and refueling takes about 20 minutes, comparable to refueling a diesel truck.
“One truck holds 10 times more fuel than one Mirai,” says a Toyota official, “So now you’re talking about 10 trucks easily using a ton of hydrogen in a day, whereas that same volume of hydrogen would probably take a month in a car. There hasn’t been cost reduction on the molecule side fast enough.” The Project Portal has a complementary goal of driving down H2 refueling costs. Back in Japan, Toyota is also working on other large hydrogen-powered vehicles like passenger buses that will be ready in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.