Hino, Toyota bringing Class 8 fuel-cell truck to North America next year

Hino and Toyota to build fuel cell truck

Roughly six months after word came down that Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) and Hino would jointly develop a heavy-duty fuel-cell electric truck for Japan, the two companies have announced a North American model that will begin a road testing in the first half of 2021.

“Expanding upon our proud heritage of the Hino powertrain, Toyota Fuel Cell Technology offers our customers a commercially viable, extended-range, zero-emissions vehicle in the near term,” said Glenn Ellis, Hino’s senior vice president of customer experience. “Hino shares a common focus with Toyota when it comes to durability, reliability and innovation with the customer at the center of design, which makes this collaboration a game changer.”

The Class 8 truck, dubbed the Hino FCET and to be based on Hino’s XL Series first introduced in 2018, will leverage Toyota’s fuel-cell technology.

“A fuel-cell-powered version of the Hino XL Series is a win-win for both customers and the community. It will be quiet, smooth and powerful while emitting nothing but water,” said Tak Yokoo, senior executive engineer for Toyota Research and Development. “Toyota’s 20-plus years of fuel-cell technology combined with Hino’s heavy-duty truck experience will create an innovative and capable product.”

In March, Toyota and Hino announced a 25-ton truck for the Japanese market that would utilize Toyota fuel-cell stacks developed for the Mirai fuel cell sedan. It is the same approach Toyota had taken in a pilot program with Kenworth. The Japanese truck will have a range of 373 miles, Reuters reported at the time.

The fuel cell stack will sit behind the cab of the Hino FCET, Derek Kline, marketing manager for Hino. Additional information on the powerplant, vehicle range and gross vehicle weight rating (GCWR) will be released at a later date, Kline said.

Toyota owns a majority share (50.1%) of Hino Trucks.

Hino introduced the XL Series in 2018, offering both Class 7 and Class 8 versions with either single or tandem axles. The XL Series is powered by Hino’s A09 turbo diesel, 8.9-liter inline six-cylinder engine. Hino has named the Class 7 model the XL7, and the Class 8 will be the XL8.

The trucks come in various configurations, ranging from a GVWR of 33,000 to 60,000 pounds and gross combined weight rating up to 66,000 pounds. The engine can produce up to 360 horsepower and 1,150 foot-pounds of torque. Wheel base options include configurations up to 304 inches.

Hino did not specify power capabilities of the new fuel-cell truck, but Toyota’s test truck with Kenworth, five of which had been built by this spring and were set to operate in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach before COVID pushed back the time frame, is said to generate more than 670 horsepower and 1,325 foot-pounds of torque from two Mirai fuel cell stacks and a 12kWh battery. The concept’s gross combined weight capacity is 80,000 pounds. An initial version of the truck, dubbed Alpha, had a 200-mile range. Version two, named Beta, has a 500-mile range, Andrew Lund, Toyota’s chief engineer for the project, told FreightWaves in 2018.

The Kenworth truck is operating under the name Project Portal.

Toyota is building a megawatt-scale carbonate fuel-cell power generation plant in California. The Tri-Gen plant will use biowaste sourced from California agricultural waste to generate water, electricity and hydrogen. The plant will supply the hydrogen to power Toyota’s Project Portal Class 8 trucks as well as Toyota fuel-cell autos in the area. It was expected to be completed sometime this year.

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Brian Straight.

You may also like:

Toyota and Hino work on fuel cell heavy-duty trucks

Toyota introduces updated Project Portal hydrogen fuel cell truck with additional range

Hino enters Class 8 truck market with XL Series