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Toyota's latest hydrogen-powered semi truck gets 300-mile range

by Justin King

After validating the technical concept, the company is now looking at commercial viability.

Toyota has outlined its ongoing development of hydrogen-powered Class 8 semi trucks, revealing a second-generation prototype known as 'Beta.'

The original Project Portal 'Alpha' test truck integrated a pair of Mirai powertrains, delivering 1,325 pound-feet of torque and more than 670 horsepower. The system supported a combined weight capacity of 80,000 pounds and range of more than 200 miles per fill.

The first truck was used to transport cargo on short hauls in and around the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. Engineers have since worked to refine the FCV powertrain integration, preparing for a wider commercial rollout.

"By evaluating the first truck in our test facilities and on the actual roads in the LA area, we made a list of improvements for the Beta truck build process and performance enhancements," said project chief engineer Andrew Lund. "We needed to move beyond a proof of concept, which the first truck accomplished, to something that is not only better than the original but is also more commercially viable."

Toyota says there are 16,000 pollution-emitting trucks working in Long Beach and Los Angeles ports. The number is estimated to rise to 32,000 by 2030. The company is presumably hoping to capture a slice of this drayage truck market to increase production volume for its hydrogen powertrains.