Automotive

Toyota reveals Project Portal Beta fuel cell truck

Toyota reveals Project Portal ...
The new Project Portal Beta truck builds on the lessons learned from the Alpha truck introduced in 2017
The new Project Portal Beta truck builds on the lessons learned from the Alpha truck introduced in 2017
View 6 Images
The Beta, or Project Portal 2.0, truck has a similar drivetrain to the original
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The Beta, or Project Portal 2.0, truck has a similar drivetrain to the original
Andrew Lund, chief engineer for Project Portal, at the Beta truck’s launch
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Andrew Lund, chief engineer for Project Portal, at the Beta truck’s launch
Design engineering for the Beta truck came after over 10,000 miles of real-world use were put on the original
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Design engineering for the Beta truck came after over 10,000 miles of real-world use were put on the original
The Project Portal Beta truck has over 300 miles of range, about 50 percent more than the Alpha truck
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The Project Portal Beta truck has over 300 miles of range, about 50 percent more than the Alpha truck
Committed to hydrogen and fuel cells, Toyota plans to build a huge megawatt-sized facility at the Port of Long Beach for hydrogen production on-site
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Committed to hydrogen and fuel cells, Toyota plans to build a huge megawatt-sized facility at the Port of Long Beach for hydrogen production on-site
The new Project Portal Beta truck builds on the lessons learned from the Alpha truck introduced in 2017
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The new Project Portal Beta truck builds on the lessons learned from the Alpha truck introduced in 2017
View gallery - 6 images

Toyota has unveiled its second prototype of the Project Portal hydrogen fuel cell truck. This "Beta," as Toyota refers to it internally, is the second iteration of the truck, adding more range, more room in the cab, and better usability. This is a more commercially-viable truck, Toyota says.

The new Project Portal Beta truck builds on the lessons learned from the Alpha truck introduced in 2017. That original rendition has logged more than 10,000 miles (16,093 km) of real-world drayage (container moving) operations in the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. The Alpha truck continues to run as Toyota prepares to send the Beta truck into the same workspace later this year.

"We needed to move beyond a proof of concept, which the first truck accomplished, to something that is not only better than the original but is also more commercially viable," said Andrew Lund, chief engineer for Project Portal at the Beta truck's launch.

The Project Portal Beta truck has over 300 miles of range, about 50 percent more than the Alpha truck
The Project Portal Beta truck has over 300 miles of range, about 50 percent more than the Alpha truck

The Beta, or Project Portal 2.0, truck has a similar drivetrain to the original, using the same motors for the same 670-plus horsepower (500 kW) and 1,325 pound-feet (1,796 Nm) of torque. The electronics, wiring, 12-kWh battery, and fuel cell technologies used in the Toyota Mirai fuel cell vehicle are being used in the Project Portal trucks. What's changed with the Beta edition is an added capacity for hydrogen storage to extend range by about 50 percent.

At the same time, hydrogen storage tanks have been reconfigured to add more interior room without extending the wheelbase or affecting trailering operations. Toyota did this and created more usability and refinement to accommodate the driver and those who work around the truck. The truck also anticipates the company's installation of a huge hydrogen fueling station at the ports.

The Tri-Gen facility will be the first megawatt-sized carbonate fuel cell power generation plant in the world. Using 100 percent renewables, the plant will utilize agricultural waste to generate the water and hydrogen required to support the logistics of the project trucks and electricity for use in the Port of Long Beach.

You can see the build process, in the following video.

Source: Toyota

Toyota Project Portal Fuel Cell Truck Build in Time Lapse

View gallery - 6 images
5 comments
Mr T
And where do they get their hydrogen? Same place as everyone else, by cracking methane. Fuel cell vehicles have higher emissions than regular ICE vehicles when they use fossil fuel derived hydrogen. Toyota made a big mistake going down the FCV path and seems the head honchos just can't admit to this mistake (all about saving face, of course), and so they persist with this pointless tech.
zr2s10
Mr T, perhaps you should finish reading the article before commenting. They mention the hydrogen, for this project at least, will be coming from a 100% renewable generation facility that is being built. Hydrogen FCV is not a "pointless tech", it could very well be the future. Each iteration makes improvements, and proper hydrogen productions allows it to be greener than fossil fuel use. It also solves the issue of battery recharging in pure electrics. Even Tesla superchargers take way too long to be viable on longer trips or commercial use. Hydrogen solves this issue, and becomes the energy storage medium, instead of highly toxic and slow Lithium Ion batteries.
michael_dowling
Fuel cells are an answer to limited battery range/recharge times,and assuming they get their H2 from renewable sources,they will have to carry the torch until batteries have much better power densities.
WB
MrT you are right and zr2s10 u r wrong! Toyota has fuel cell trials running in the bay area.. and they have major supply issues with hydrogen. They can't deliver it. It makes physically no sense (as Elon pointed out a long time ago) - and everyone needs to save face. The indians say if you are riding a dead horse.. get off.
zr2s10
WB: "The truck also anticipates the company's installation of a huge hydrogen fueling station at the ports.
The Tri-Gen facility will be the first megawatt-sized carbonate fuel cell power generation plant in the world. Using 100 percent renewables, the plant will utilize agricultural waste to generate the water and hydrogen required to support the logistics of the project trucks and electricity for use in the Port of Long Beach."
As you can see, quoted from the article above, they are addressing the hydrogen supply and sourcing issues. And of course Elon Musk is going to say Hydrogen isn't worth it, he is trying to get everyone to buy electric cars (when he's not calling people pedophiles, apparently). Unless battery composition changes drastically, it's got no chance of being practical for 80% of drivers. And if you could charge as many cars, as quickly, as you do at gas stations now, do you have ANY idea of how much electrical power would have to be fed to every "gas" station in the country? It's impossible, and our grid could never handle it. Fuel Cell Vehicles (which are basically a hybrid that runs on hydrogen instead of gas) are one of the best answers, long term, to fossil fuels. Hydrogen can be transported similarly to gasoline/diesel, with new tanks in the ground. Still daunting, but not impossible. The other answer is synthetic fuels, which lots of oil companies, and some automakers are working on. They're typically sourced by renewables, and intended to run in existing combustion engines.
Infrastructure feasibility + quick refueling + renewable energy
Hydrogen can do this. Synthetic Fuels can do this. Pure Electrics can not do this.
A few people charging Tesla on Superchargers for 45 minutes, do not satisfy the first two requirements for long term success.