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Toyota’s Project Portal fuel-cell semi starts tests in LA

Project Portal Class 8 FCEV. Source: Toyota

Project Portal will see the class-8 hydrogen and battery-powered truck take on short test routes

It’s shaping up to be a big week for fuel cells.

Toyota Motor North America’s (TMNA) “Project Portal” – a hydrogen fuel cell system designed for heavy-duty truck use – has begun its test run of drayage routes at the Port of Los Angeles.

Toyota reports that the proof-of-concept class 8 truck has already completed over 4,000 miles in development while pulling drayage-rated cargo weight.

With that testing and development completed, Project Portal will see feasibility study routes begin on October 23, with the unit moving goods from select Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach terminals to surrounding rail yards and warehouses for distribution.

Estimates suggest that daily trips will total around 200 miles. These local, frequent route patterns are designed to test the demanding drayage duty-cycle capabilities of the fuel cell system while capturing real world performance data. As the study progresses, longer haul routes will be introduced, Toyota said.

The Project Portal heavy-duty truck concept generates more than 670 horsepower and 1,325 pound-feet of torque from two fuel cell stacks – taken from the company’s Mirai FCEV – and a 12kWh battery. For a clearer idea of the kind of pulling power and acceleration that offers, watch the video below.

Gross combined weight capacity is 80,000 lbs., and estimated driving range is more than 200 miles per fill, under normal drayage operation.

“Toyota has led the way in expanding the understanding and adoption of fuel cell technology,” said TMNA Executive Vice President Bob Carter. “From the introduction of the Mirai passenger vehicle to the creation of the heavy-duty fuel cell system in Project Portal, Toyota continues to demonstrate the versatility and scalability of the zero-emission fuel cell powertrain.”

The initial feasibility study operations will be managed by the TMNA Project Portal team, in collaboration with Toyota’s Service Parts Accessories Operations group and drayage provider, Southern Counties Express (SCE).


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