Toyota Motor North America is growing the scope of its collaboration with truck maker Paccar to develop Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks powered by Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cells (FCEV).

The two companies having been working together on FCEV truck development over several years. That included a pilot programme which deployed ten Kenworth T680 FCEV trucks at the port of Los Angeles. As well being used to move mixed loads to and from the port, four of the trucks were dedicated to Toyota Logistics Services for the movement of parts inland.


The latest extension of the agreement will see the commercialisation of zero-emission versions of the Kenworth T680 and Peterbilt 579 models, which will be powered by Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell powertrain kit. Customer deliveries are planned for 2024.

Finished vehicle applications
As part of its partnership with Paccar at the port of LA, Toyota has also been deploying Kenworth FCEV trucks for finished vehicle moves in southern California – part of its Project Portal initiative. In an interview with Automotive Logistics published this month, Missy Pearlman, general manager of Toyota Logistics Services, reveals that the company is planning to put some of those trucks into service starting in 2025.

“We are excited to start using those trucks and share [the results] with our partners so they start seriously looking at that equipment in the future as well,” says Pearlman.

One of the main challenges to that deployment is the requisite hydrogen refuelling infrastructure needed to keep the trucks running. TLS is currently involved in a number of partnerships aimed at investing in and developing different charging/refuelling infrastructure. That includes at its new facility at the port of Long Beach, completed late last year. The facility itself will be the first Toyota operation that runs off 100% renewable electricity. The heavy vehicle hydrogen fuelling station located at the facility will be part of a five-station, heavy-duty fuelling network for the Los Angeles basin that provides multiple sources of hydrogen throughout the region. A trigeneration (trigen) direct fuel cell power plant will supply the hydrogen to the fuelling stations, according to Toyota. Biogas sourced from agricultural waste will produce high quality, 100% renewable hydrogen fuel for the Project Portal heavy-duty truck.

Sustainability in freight transport will be one of topics under discussion at this week’s Finished Vehicle Logistics North America conference in California, which takes place between May 9-11. The agenda includes an in-depth discussion with Toks Omishakin, secretary of transportation at the California State Transportation Agency, on the transformation of freight transport in California.