Toyota has been championing hydrogen fuel cell technology and already has fuel cell cars available in several markets.
The Japanese brand has also been looking at opportunities around fitting the clean energy tech to urban buses.
In the U.S. there are Kenworth Trucks fitted with Toyota hydrogen fuel cell powertrains earning their keep as part of a major trial of the tech in heavy vehicles underway at the Port of Los Angeles.
The T680 Kenworth trucks emit nothing but water vapour with Toyota, Kenworth and Shell all partnering in the project.
Now that testing program has been given a major boost – $41 million USD ($57.3 million AUD) in funding from the California Air Resources Board.
The funding matches an existing funding commitment from other stakeholders.
It will allow the hydrogen-powered trucks to leave the port and transport goods throughout southern California and be operated by transporters including Toyota Logistics Services and UPS.
The money will mostly be invested in two new refuelling stations, these will join three existing stations already built by Toyota.
“This is an excellent opportunity for Port of Los Angeles, Kenworth, and Toyota to work together to both explore and drive advanced zero emission technologies that will play a critical role in the clean trucks of the future.” – Mike Dozier, Kenworth general manager and Paccar vice president.
Toyota tell us the California project is assisting them with their fine-tuning of the fuel-cell technology with a view to further commercializing the tech in coming years.
We’ll keep you updated as further details on the project come to hand and other developments on fuel cell powertrains in general in heavy vehicles and road transport.
- Related: Toyota unveils improved hydrogen truck
- Related: Hyundai Trucks tease fuel cell electric truck
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