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October 27, 2019 10:45 PM, EDT

Kenworth, Toyota Partner on Hydrogen Fuel Cell Class 8 Trucks

Kenworth, Toyota partner Kenworth's Kevin Baney addresses the media. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

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ATLANTA — Kenworth Truck Co. announced it is collaborating with Toyota Motor North America to develop 10 heavy-duty zero-emission Kenworth T680s powered by Toyota hydrogen fuel cell electric powertrains.

The company also reported new developments related to advanced driver safety systems, over-the-air programming of trucks and chrome accessories.

Under the collaboration with Toyota, Kenworth provides the T680 chassis and cab, motors, transmission and cooling systems, and delivers overall fuel cell electric vehicle integration. Toyota provides fuel cell stacks, hydrogen tanks, load balancing batteries, and other components necessary to deliver the high voltage to the motors, in addition to the controls for that power.

Kenworth made its announcement at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show here Oct. 27.

So far, the Kenworth assembly plant in Renton, Wash., has produced four hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles — with a fifth truck now in production, according to the Kirkland, Wash.-based company, which is a unit of Paccar Inc.

The program’s first fuel cell electric vehicle to enter real-world service will go to Toyota Logistics Services by year-end for operation at the Los Angeles ports. The full contingent of 10 FCEVs is expected to enter operation in the ports and Los Angeles basin in 2020, and will be placed into service by UPS, Toyota Logistics, TTSI and Southern Counties Express.

To meet customer needs in these drayage, car-carrier and local-haul applications, the vehicles will have ranges of more than 300 miles under normal operating conditions.

The effort is part of a $41 million Zero and Near-Zero Emissions Freight Facilities grant awarded by the California Air Resources Board, with the Port of Los Angeles as the prime applicant.

“The Port of Los Angeles, Kenworth, Toyota and Shell are working together to foster the development of hydrogen fuel cell electric technology in Class 8 trucks, producing water as the only emissions byproduct, while meeting or exceeding diesel truck performance,” Kenworth General Manager Kevin Baney said.

Paccar’s other truck brands include Peterbilt Motors Co., and DAF, which is made in Europe. Peterbilt is taking the lead for Paccar on battery-electric trucks.

At the same time Kenworth announced it will make new features for Bendix Wingman Fusion advanced driver assistance system standard for the on-highway flagship Kenworth T680, and optional for the T880 vocational leader and the conventional medium-duty T270 and T370 models, beginning in the first quarter of 2020.

New features include highway departure braking and multilane emergency braking features.

Also, it announced plans for a single portal to manage repairs — by truck, from cradle to grave — access vehicle performance analytics and connect with a personalized support team.

The portal also will provide access to Kenworth engineers who can help dealers and customers optimize a truck’s spec for the customer’s specific business need.

Kenworth has introduced the Kenworth TruckTech+ over-the-air program, which enhances truck uptime by making it convenient for customers to load Paccar MX engine and aftertreatment software updates beginning in December, for select customers, with full rollout in early 2020.

Kenworth Class 8 trucks equipped with 2017 or later model year Paccar MX-13 or MX-11 engines can receive software updates remotely.

More than 26,000 fleet trucks are participating in Kenworth TruckTech+ Service Management offered by Paccar Parts to fleet services customers. Through Paccar Parts, fleets with 100 trucks or more receive a line of credit as well as preferred and consistent parts pricing throughout the U.S. and Canada. Qualifying customers can elect to use Kenworth’s TruckTech+ Service Management to manage their Kenworth Class 8 and medium-duty trucks.

Meanwhile, the Paccar 12-speed automated transmission will incorporate new MX engine-optimized shift calibrations to enhance performance, beginning in January 2020. As a result, the transmission will become available in light vocational applications, including construction, mining, refuse and agriculture for the Kenworth T880. It is now standard with the Paccar 20K front axle, available with ratings of 20,000 pounds or 22,000 pounds.

The company also added chrome options for the Kenworth W990.

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