At the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show this week in Las Vegas, Kenworth showcased its T680 tractor converted to fuel-cell electric power by Toyota Motor North America. The companies began testing the technology at Southern California ports in 2017, and in September they announced a broader partnership with Shell and the state of California to further explore the hydrogen-electric drivetrain.
At CES, the companies announced an update to the project. They hope to deploy 10 units this year, to be used by Toyota Logistics Service, UPS, Southern Counties Express and Total Transportation Services, Inc.
The new truck configuration on display at CES requires only 12 kW of battery power and is capable of achieving a range of 300 miles. It has a refueling time of roughly 30 minutes.
The Kenworth T680s with the Toyota hydrogen fuel cell electric powertrains combine hydrogen gas and air to produce electricity. The electricity powers electric motors to move the trucks, while also charging the lithium-ion batteries to optimize performance as needed. Sophisticated power management systems will apportion the electrical power from the fuel cells to the motors, batteries, and other components, such as electrified power steering and brake air compressors.