Toyota Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Powertrain Obtains CARB Approval


Toyota says it has been granted a Zero Emission Powertrain (ZEP) executive order from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for its new heavy-duty hydrogen fuel cell electric powertrain, which includes hydrogen fuel storage tanks, fuel cell stacks, batteries, electric motors and transmission.

CARB’s order certifies that the system complies with CARB regulations for zero-emission powertrains determined to meet specific emissions standards required for sale in California. OEMs using Toyota’s certified powertrain may also be eligible for other available incentives, such as CARB’s Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP), the Clean Truck Fund (CTF) introduced last year by the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and certain federal incentives.

“Toyota aims to reduce or eliminate emissions for all mobility solutions, and our fuel cell electric powertrains have proven that hydrogen can play a significant role in the emissions reduction of emissions from heavy-duty transportation,” says Scott Friedman, senior program manager advanced mobility, Toyota Motor North America.

Toyota’s efforts with hydrogen-powered heavy-duty truck powertrains started with Project Portal back in 2017. Toyota has developed multiple generations of powertrain prototypes during development, such as those found the Alpha and Beta trucks that logged nearly 14,000 miles of testing and real-world drayage operations in and around the Port of Los Angeles.

The generation of truck named “Ocean” was deployed in a proof-of-concept demonstration at the Port of Los Angeles as a part of the Zero-and-Near-Zero Emission Freight Facilities’ “Shore to Store” project (ZANZEFF). For the project, Toyota worked with Kenworth to develop trucks using an updated prototype fuel cell electric powertrain and deployed 10 Kenworth T680 Class 8 trucks. The 10 trucks served real-world customers via drayage routes, with infrastructure support from Shell, hauling cargo between the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and the LA Basin.

Toyota’s CARB ZEP-certified powertrain kit is now ready for commercialization, with production slated to start for customers later this year at the company’s Kentucky manufacturing plant.

“We believe hydrogen will play a significant role in the emissions reduction of heavy-duty transport while not sacrificing the distance, power or fueling times needed to keep these fleet and individual operators running,” says Chris Rovik, executive program manager, advanced mobility, Toyota Motor North America. “Fuel cell technology is scalable, and we believe it will take an increasingly visible and important role in our collective fight to reduce and eliminate carbon as we move towards a hydrogen society.”

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