Toyota Reveals Second Gen Class 8 Hydrogen Fuel Cell Truck

AUG 8 2018 BY MARK KANE 60

During the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) Management Briefing Seminars in Northern Michigan, Toyota unveiled the second iteration of its hydrogen fuel cell electric Class 8 truck – the Project Portal 2.0 or Beta.

It’s improved compared to the previous Alpha, introduced in April 2017, and offers more than 300 miles (483 km) of range compared to 200 miles in the first prototype.

The other changes are enhanced versatility and maneuverability with the addition of a sleeper cab and a unique fuel cabinet combination that further increases cab space without increasing wheelbase.

The Alpha semi already covered nearly 10,000 miles of testing real-world drayage operations in and around the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. The Beta is scheduled for drayage operations this fall.

Toyota Project Portal 2.0 FCV Beta Truck
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Toyota Project Portal 2.0 FCV Beta Truck Toyota Project Portal 2.0 FCV Beta Truck Toyota Project Portal 2.0 FCV Beta Truck Toyota Project Portal 2.0 FCV Beta Truck 2018 Project Portal FCV Beta Truck - Chief Engineer Andy Lund
Toyota Motor North America Chief Engineer Andrew Lund addresses the crowd as the company unveils the newest version of its hydrogen fuel cell electric heavy truck.

Lessons Learned: Increased Range, Improved Process

Toyota Project Portal Hydrogen Fuel Cell Semi Truck

Toyota Project Portal Hydrogen Fuel Cell Semi Truck – Alpha

Project Portal 2.0 builds on the lessons learned from the launch of the Alpha vehicle in 2017. The first heavy-duty truck was the result of a true skunkworks effort within Toyota that moved from initial concept to a fully-capable drayage truck driving silently out of a Michigan garage in just over a year. Engineers and technicians worked long hours to reconfigure the wire harnesses, electronics and other components of two off-the-lot Mirai fuel cell electric cars to create one of the world’s first OEM-built zero-emission heavy trucks.

The results of their work continue to impress. With a gross combined weight capacity of 80,000 lbs. and a driving range of more than 200 miles per fill, the 670-plus horsepower Alpha truck produces 1325 pound-feet of torque from two Mirai fuel cell stacks and a 12kWh battery. Project Portal Beta maintains these torque and horsepower numbers while also extending the range of the vehicle and pushing forward on other key performance metrics.

“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 Andrew Lund, chief engineer for the project. He continued, “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.”

A Step Toward the Future, Reflections From the Past
The story of Project Portal’s inception and evolution follows the long tradition of Toyota innovation that dates to the company’s entry into the automotive space. The first Toyota (then Toyoda) sedan, the A1, was produced in much the same manner as the original Project Portal truck- through experimentation, trial and error, and a lot of sweat. Once completed in 1935, the A1 was tested by the company’s founder, Kiichiro Toyoda, and then refined into their first commercially available car, the Toyoda AA. Likewise, through the lessons learned with the first truck, Project Portal 2.0 is more refined, functional, and capable. Also, just as the AA started Toyota on a path as an automotive leader, Project Portal is expanding Toyota’s already robust environmental leadership to the next level. Going forward, Toyota remains committed to supporting the development of a consumer-facing hydrogen infrastructure to realize the potential of fuel cell vehicles.

A Drop of h2 in the Bucket
Over 16,000 pollution-emitting trucks are working in Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, a number that is estimated to balloon to 32,000 by 2030. More than 43,000 drayage trucks are in operation at ports across the United States, contributing significant amounts of carcinogens, diesel particulate matter (DPM) and other pollutants into the air of port communities and surrounding neighborhoods.

“Our goal with the first truck was to see if it could be accomplished, and we did that,” said senior manager for Toyota’s North American Electrified Vehicle & Technologies Office, Craig Scott. “This time we’re looking at commercial viability. We want to help make a difference—a significant difference when it comes to the air quality not only in the LA area, but across the U.S. and around the globe.”

More Than Just Trucks
This announcement is a continuation of Toyota’s Environmental Challenge 2050 efforts to eliminate CO2 emissions from its Toyota Logistics facility at the Port of Long Beach. Toyota has previously announced the construction of the Tri-Gen facility which will be the first megawatt-sized carbonate fuel cell power generation plant with hydrogen fueling in the world. The 100% renewable plant will use agricultural waste to generate water, electricity, and hydrogen that will support Toyota Logistics Services’ (TLS) operations at the Port of Long Beach.

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60 Comments on "Toyota Reveals Second Gen Class 8 Hydrogen Fuel Cell Truck"

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Musk going up against Toyota, wonder which one has deeper pockets.
Let’s see…Toyota did NOT lose a billion dollars the last six months.

Last time I checked, money cannot change physics.

Physics and Economics.
This just proves corruption and collusion in the oil/fracking/auto alliance.

“Musk going up against Toyota, wonder which one has deeper pockets.”

Kodak and Nokia , blockbuster had deeper pockets when Silicon Valley neophytes set their sights on their turf.

Toyota is not Kodak, thanks for playing.

No, Toyota is Polaroid. A dead end niche market.

And you’re not an EV supporter. You’re not trying to play, you’re trying to spoil the game.

You have to be an EV supporter? I don’t think so.

How much money did Toyota lose on their FCEV program?

Not enough, they are still trying! Pricetag? Tesla Semi revealed last year has been a hard number to beat.

Let’s see where it ends up, Tesla may not be in business years from now.

Give it up shorts. You’ve got a guaranteed Dead Date now.

The only shorts you know about is the ones you wear.
You all pretend to be investment experts, not even close.

You won’t be shorting Tesla stock years from now. Hopefully not even months from now.

Toyota’s R&D financial efforts don’t extend much beyond what CARB pays them for this boondoggle.

Absurd. Toyota spent around $9 BILLION dollars on R&D in 2017 alone.

It’s clear that you haven’t listened to even one of their press conferences detailing their 50 year clean transport plan.

Yeah, the Japanese government’s subsidy for fool cell cars dwarfs California’s subsidy. If it was only CARB state subsidies, Toyota never would have moved fool cell cars beyond the prototype/ concept car stage.

You just like the term “fool cells”, what a douche.

Thanks to the Japanese government’s insane level of subsidies supporting sales of fool cell cars, they may not be losing that much money.

Eventually that will end, of course. The laws of physics work in Japan just like anywhere else, and no governmental laws or subsidies can change that.

See “Japanese Government To Offer $20,000 Subsidy On Fuel Cell Vehicle Purchases”

Tesla didn’t “lose” a billion dollars, either. They invested it in future growth… unlike Toyota, which certainly isn’t growing its market!

Looking forward to Tesla Death Cultists disappearing from InsideEVs comments once you can no longer short Tesla stock.
🙂 🙂 🙂

The stock shorters will disappear but the oil and HFC lobbyists will unfortunately remain for another 5 years or so until that writing is on the wall too.

Always the same tired comments. Sigh.

Toyota has poured billions into HFCVs over previous years. And in the coming years they will pour billions more. They will ultimately permanently lose a magnitude more than Tesla has invested (lose according to your lack of understanding of economics) when they finally admit defeat, fill in the hole where they shoveled in all that fuel cell money and are forced to move on to BEV drivetrains.

Let’s see… Toyota is still building prototypes for a Hydrogen fool-cell truck, that goes 300 miles before it has to fuel up at an almost non-existent Hydrogen station…

Tesla however, has already built several prototypes, and is refining their battery-electric trucks for serial production starting in mid-2019. And the Tesla trucks can go up to 500 miles before they have to refuel almost anywhere where 3-phase 480v electrical service is present. In fact, instead of dealing with the logistics of Hydrogen storage, production, and transport, Tesla could simply up the battery range of the Semi to 600 miles, and put normal Superchargers(but with a different plug) at truck stops… Truck drivers are mandated by law to get a certain number of sleep hours, so even a 120kW Supercharger would be an effective solution for Semi charging, because it would charge a 1MWh Semi battery during the 8 hours of sleep that is mandated by law.

There is (was?) oil refinery between LB and LA, so the trucks can stop to fill. Question is, why not just use diesel that is available everywhere. This exercise of making it like diesel but less convenient is baffling.

Torrance, near the abandoned Toyota Headquarters. Smells like pig poo.

The idea, with the Tesla truck, and presumably the Toyota one as well, is to reduce if not eliminate usage of fossil fuels wherever it is possible to do so.
IMO, the charging station setup would be more convenient than diesel, since there are no more dedicated stops for diesel. You would just hook up to a rapid charger while the truck is loading/unloading(that will take close to 40 minutes, enough to charge 550 miles of range). And you already have to sleep a number of hours per night, why not have a slower charger to fill the battery while you are sleeping?
How is that any less convenient than a diesel, since you already have to spend time loading/unloading and sleeping, you might as well just use an electric truck and charge up while doing other things. In a way it actually becomes more convenient because you don’t have to make a dedicated stop. Of course, dedicated truck stops will still exist, for food, bathroom breaks, showers and such, but then, you still won’t have to charge their since you would charge while sleeping at a rest stop, or while loading/unloading…

However, as they’ve let slip a number of times. Hydrogen will be converted from a methane source. So, it’s physically not possible to be cheaper than methane. And secondly methane is a Potent green house gas, so there’s no Carbon Credit Benefit to this Hare-Brained Scheme.

Are you suggesting that vehicles should run on methane instead of hydrogen? Perhaps you aren’t the first to think that.

“Hydrogen will be converted from a methane source”.

I think what you wanted to say is that hydrogen is obtained from methane through a conversion process, right? If so, hydrogen does not have to be made from methane; the reason that it mostly is (in the US) is that methane is cheap. In my opinion, PEM electrolysis is a lot more promising

“And secondly methane is a Potent green house gas”.

The gas that is responsible for 50 to 70% of the greenhouse effect on this planet is water vapor (methane’s impact is an order of magnitude lower).

“The idea, with the Tesla truck, and presumably the Toyota one as well, is to reduce if not eliminate usage of fossil fuels wherever it is possible to do so.”

Switching from diesel to frackogen (hydrogen made from fracked natural gas) isn’t eliminating use of fossil fuel. It’s just making it considerably more expensive and far less energy-efficient than using diesel, while being only slightly less polluting.

Don’t let those promoting the “hydrogen economy” hoax fool you. 95% of commercially produced H2 comes from reforming natural gas, not renewable energy sources.

In the US and in the year 2018, yes. But the reserves of natural gas that have become available by using fracking are finite; with the progress in the PEM electrolysis field we may soon see more and more H2 produced from water.

Also, I am not convinced that diesel is “far less energy efficient” than hydrogen fuel cell, even if the hydrogen used in FCEV’s currently (in the US) is mostly obtained from natural gas. You see, diesel is a heat engine that is thermodynamically unable to run higher thermal efficiency than perhaps 50%. Some energy gets wasted because the engine sometimes has to operate outside of the the optimal RPM range, and then there is a rather lossy conversion of reciprocating motion into rotational … all in all, I think 20-25% overall ratio max.

I think the whole conversion chain from “methane” to “rotational” is at least as much, more likely twice as much, and highly unlikely to be “far less efficient”. If you have the figures to disprove this, please share them.

Agreed, except for this; “The idea, with the Tesla truck, and presumably the Toyota one as well, is to reduce if not eliminate usage of fossil fuels wherever it is possible to do so.”

Toyota (and other Japanese auto manufacturers?) seem to be putting enormous effort into making sure the oil industry remains a large part of the picture.

Elon may have claimed that the Tesla Semi will go into production in mid-2019, but that was on Elon time. In real world time, they’re more than two years away. They haven’t even started talking about where the truck will be built yet.

Why such antagonism? Let them do their thing.

Smaller hydrogen stations has production of 150 kg H2/day. With about 50 kg of tank capacity of this truck we need one (million dollar) station for every 3 trucks or in another words one station for 900 truck miles a day.

Keep going on the math. $1M per hydrogen station… This only makes sense if you’re in the hydrogen producing business. I see a failure of economic proportions inevitable here. One could hope that hydrogen stations would come down in price, however it isn’t like you can hire regional electricians to do the work. One mistake and you’re a smudge on Google Earth.

That “smudge on Google Earth”, is sure one Big Bang “Oopsie”, pushing up a ginormous “Daisy”!

The dream of fool cell fanboys in seeing a dramatic drop in construction/ maintenance costs for H2 fueling stations, is just part of the “hydrogen economy” hoax. Those stations will always be far more expensive than diesel truck stops, because the equipment required is far more complex, expensive, and consumes far more energy.

Dispensing gasoline or diesel requires only a simple, cheap, electrically powered pump, and a simple hose and nozzle. Dispensing highly pressurized H2 gas requires complex, expensive high-pressure pumps in a two-stage pressurization system, and expensive airtight seals which still leak.

It’s physically impossible to make all that cheap and simple. All the wishful thinking in the world by fool cell fanboys isn’t going to change that.

Why does it have to be a “smaller hydrogen station” that fuels 18-wheelers?

Problem with these trucks is that they only get 6 miles out of a kilo of hydrogen and each kilo costs $16,-. A diesel truck gets 6 miles out of a gallon of diesel which only costs only ~$2.80. Tesla’s BEV trucks will use ~10KWh to get 6 miles which Tesla will offer for $0,70.

So fleet operators might soon have three options: Toyota’s hydrogen marvel at $2,60/mile, diesel at ~$0,50/mile or Tesla’s BEV proposal at ~$0.12/mile. I think Toyota needs to figure out how to reduce the cost of distributed hydrogen with at least 90%.

There was a breakthrough in Hydrogen production in order to make it cheaper, which is at least favorable news for an unfavorable fuel.

I assume you meant to say ‘if’….
Yes, I agree, and the only possibility I see of that is excess electricity from wind or solar over production that gets used to electrolyze hydrogen. Such excess energy will be super cheap.

“As if” expensive H2 was the only problem to be solved.

If only the cost of merely producing H2 gas was the primary expense.

Sadly for the wishful thinking of fool cell fanboys, that’s only a small fraction of the cost — and the wasted energy — in the many steps in the supply chain between production and dispensing fuel into a fool cell car or truck’s tank.

No matter how many times we point this out, they firmly ignore the reality.

Well, with the hydrogen station using agricultural waste, at least it’s one of the rare examples of a fuel cell vehicle actually being sustainable…

Unfortunately, there is probably not nearly enough agricultural waste in the world to power a significant portion of trucks on the roads.

The production of hydrogen isn’t the biggest part in hydrogen cost, it’s the distribution of highly compressed hydrogen through $3 million a pop +high maintenance+ limited capacity hydrogen stations that is the real killer.

I know; there are many killers involved in terms of costs… I’m just pointing out that in this case, the investment at least actually does some good, rather than just using fossil fuels through the back door.

An Amazingly Explosive Idea — Terrorist Weekly

So Toyota is willing to stand by its commitment to Fuecel vehicles. Well and good, will it be possible for us to see the next gen improvised Mirai.

And the Fuecel Semi will come to the market.

How about Prius-Fuecel. It can even have 3 – 4 KG cylinder for a good 100 – 150 mile range on Hydrogen followed by another 300 miles on gasoline using an engine just like the Prius-Plugin.

How will this impact diesel and the oil companies. They will not support it.

That is actually a ” Kenyota” truck. That is a Kenworth T680 Class 8 glider with a Toyota fuel-cell drive train. Note the Kenworth-specific truck body and grille. The front radiator-badge has the Kenworth shape with “H2” where it should have “KW”. has some other technical specs of the new vehicle:

“Toyota revealed a new prototype of its “Project Portal” fuel cell electric truck Monday, hinting strongly at future commercialization. The automaker already markets a production fuel cell car, the Mirai. It is using the central components of the car for its Class 8 fuel cell truck.

The new model, called the Beta truck, is built on a glider version of the Kenworth T680 tractor. It is a ton lighter, goes 100 miles farther — 300 miles total — on a fill up of hydrogen gas and is about 10 percent more powerful than the Alpha prototype that Toyota unveiled last year.”

I suspect we’ll see more established heavy truck manufacturers partnering with EV-experienced automotive companies going forward, other than Daimler and Volvo, which already have substantial automotive EV experience in-house.

Well, I’m sure Toyota will sell lots of these trucks to every single trucking company which wants to start paying twice as much per mile for fuel as they pay currently for diesel.

In the real world, these trucks will be sold only where the truck owner can get H2 fuel at highly subsidized, below cost prices.

Only twice the cost? Where can we buy <$6/kg compressed hydrogen?

It's not that TCO only depends on fuel cost either, maintenance and depreciation are important factors too in which BEV trucks will have a massive advantage over HFCV trucks that will need a rigorous maintenance regime to keep them safe and will depreciate fast as the on board systems deteriorate over time and maintenance cost increase. I wonder how many miles these fuel cell stacks last these days?

I hate driving behind a Mirai on the freeway, the water released from exhaust get all over the car behind. When s car has light dust on it, it caused dirty water spots all over my front hood and windshield.

Also they drive slow and it’s butt ugly.

This just doesn’t pass the smell test.

Don’t bypass the all important Sniff Test first, before jumping headlong into the Smell Test. Delorean drivers need you to prove that the Flux Capacitor wil actually make the crucial T.T. jump, “Back to the Future”!

Can’t wait for the inevitable drag race video between the Tesla Semi, diesel trucks, and the fuel cell trucks.

Toyota fail

Nikola just got another 100 million in financing. That’s the first half of their 200 million round of financing. Fuel cells aren’t going away any time soon.

You’re right. They aren’t going away anytime soon but they also aren’t going to be on the roads anytime soon either. As long as there are suckers investing in this dead-end tech and lobbyists paid by interests shoveling money into pushing this tech then it won’t go away. Doesn’t mean it will be practical or actually implemented on anything but a small trial fleet basis.