Toyota Tests Fuel Cell Truck, Tesla Delays Electric Truck Again

Toyota is showing off their fuel cell powered Class 8 big rig in testing, while Tesla's electric truck debut has been delayed, in what is shaping up to be a battle for the short-haul zero-emission hauling market.

Toyota's zero-emission big rig has now racked up 4,000 miles while pulling full loads of cargo. Now it's time to put the prototypes to work, hauling cargo around the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, CA. The study routes will start later this month and will see the trucks move cargo from select port terminals to surrounding rail yards and distribution warehouses.

The trucks are expected to rack up around 320 km each day. That's not a lot for a big rig, but this is a test of high-demand, high-load short-haul routes. Constant stops and starts instead of long, easy highway miles. It's a test of the duty-cycle capabilities of the hydrogen fuel cell.

Toyota calls the truck Project Portal. It generates 670 hp and 1,325 lb-ft of torque by using two fuel cell stacks from the Toyota Mirai. The storage battery is a small 12 kWh pack. The truck is rated for a combined 36,000 kg, the same as a diesel-powered truck. Toyota expects a 320 km range, enough for a full day's work, from the truck's hydrogen storage tank.

Meanwhile, Telsa has delayed the reveal of its battery-powered semi truck. This is the second time the launch has been pushed back, but it's now scheduled for November 16th. Company CEO Elon Musk blamed a shift in resources to Model 3 production and battery production to help reconstruct the electrical grid in Puerto Rico.

But Musk tweeted that the prototype truck is complete. Not just complete, but with better specs than the rumours that have circulated. The most recent pegged the range of the electric truck at between 320 and 490 km.

Hauling, no gas 10/12/2017 3:15:09 PM