Toyota has built a prototype hydrogen fuel cell truck using most of the hydrogen fuel cell components from two of its Mirai passenger vehicles. What sounds like a project from a scene in a Transformers movie turns out to be almost as entertaining as a Hollywood blockbuster.
Toyota’s project was initiated prior to the announcement of the Nikola Motors hydrogen fuel cell truck, before Tesla’s fully electric Semi was unveiled, and even before Cummins’ electric powertrain offering. Today, BYD is already delivering its fully electric, class 8 heavy trucks to customers, with a slew of offerings and most of the other players already taking reservations for offerings that will enter the market over the next few years.
It has capacity to store 40 kilograms of hydrogen, which is a significant boost compared to just 4.5 kilograms of capacity in the Mirai. Electricity is then stored in the onboard 12 kWh Toshiba battery, which ensures a constant flow of juice into the motor.
A typical family driving a Toyota Mirai will use 170 kilograms of hydrogen per year, whereas a single hydrogen fuel cell truck will consume a mind boggling 40 times as much at an estimated 7,500 kilograms per year.
Looking to the future, Toyota is already developing the second iteration of its hydrogen fuel cell heavy-duty truck in parallel to continued testing of the Alpha Truck.