Toyota has recently revealed their second-generation hydrogen fuel-cell semi-truck. Called 'Beta', the fuel-cell-powered rig has received significant improvements over its predecessor, 'Alpha' which debuted last year, seeing an increased driving range of 483 km per refill.
In review, the Alpha fuel-cell truck boasted a 670+ PS engine and produced around 1,800 Nm of torque, enough to haul up to 36,300 kg of load. It then uses two Mirai fuel cell stacks and a 12kWh battery which had a range of 322 km before needing a refill. The new Beta retains the same power and weight capacity, but now manages to extend the range up to 483 km. Some external changes to Beta include a new cab which increased cab space. However, they were able to retain the same wheelbase as before.
“By evaluating the first truck in our test facilities and on the actual roads in the LA area, we made a list of improvements for the Beta truck build process and performance enhancements. 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 the project.
Since the initial run of the Alpha truck last year, it has logged nearly 16,000 km from the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, California. In the process, the truck has been emitting nothing but water vapor. Meanwhile the Beta truck will begin operations later this year.
"Our goal with the first truck was to see if it could be accomplished, and we did that. This time we're looking at commercial viability. We want to help make a difference… a significant difference when it comes to the air quality not only in the LA area but across the U.S. and around the globe,” said Senior Manager for Toyota's North American Electrified Vehicle & Technologies Office Craig Scott.