Managing Editor, Features
Paccar, Toyota Plan to Produce Hydrogen Fuel Cell Trucks
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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Truck manufacturer Paccar Inc. and global automaker Toyota Motor Corp. are moving forward with a partnership to produce fuel cell electric Class 8 trucks for the North American market.
John Rich, Paccar’s chief technology officer, made the announcement during a May 2 keynote speech here at the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo.
He previewed fuel cell electric versions of the company’s heavy-duty Kenworth and Peterbilt models, which are slated to enter production in 2025.
The zero-emission trucks will be powered by Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell technology, which will enable a vehicle range of up to 450 miles.
“Hydrogen represents the best zero-emission technology solution for long-distance Class 8 trucks where range, weight, capacity and refueling downtime are critical,” Rich said.
Paccar's Rich announces production plans for Kenworth and Peterbilt fuel cell electric Class 8 trucks at ACT Expo. (Seth Clevenger/Transport Topics)
The announcement builds on Paccar and Toyota’s existing collaboration on fuel cell trucks in Southern California, where they worked together in recent years to deploy 10 fuel cell tractors in port drayage operations.
Now the companies are moving forward with series production plans.
“Just to be very clear, this is not a pilot. It’s not an experiment. It’s not a trial. We’ve done all that,” Rich said. “This is a tool that is ready to go to work — purchased, deployed and supported with all the durability and uptime expectations of a diesel engine.”
Paccar is now taking deposits for fuel cell truck production slots in 2025, he said.
The fuel cell electric trucks will be sold and serviced by Paccar’s dealer network.
On the ACT Expo show floor, Kenworth exhibited a fuel cell electric version of its T680 Next Gen daycab tractor equipped with Toyota’s second generation dual fuel cell module.
I’m seeing lots of hydrogen fuel cell trucks here at #ACTexpo, including this @KenworthTruckCo T680 equipped with @Toyota fuel cell technology. pic.twitter.com/zZGKUiJAsV — Seth Clevenger (@SethClevenger) May 2, 2023
Joe Adams, Kenworth’s chief engineer, emphasized the value of Toyota’s three decades of experience developing fuel cell technology during a joint press conference at the show.
With an extended vehicle range and hydrogen refilling times of about 20 minutes, the fuel cell electric T680 comes with operating characteristics that are comparable to diesel but with none of the emissions.
“When we look at what our customers are telling us about range and capability, they’re looking for products that operate a lot like diesel powertrain trucks today,” Adams said.
Chris Rovik, executive program manager for advanced mobility at Toyota Motor North America, said the production version of the fuel cell electric Kenworth T680 represents the culmination of multiple iterations of trucks co-developed by the companies.
“We’ve really worked on improving the packaging efficiency to allow this power plant to be dropped in on the production line as it exists today,” he said.
Kenworth also exhibited its battery-electric T680E model at ACT Expo. That vehicle has a range of about 150 miles and has been on the market for about two years.
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