While Kenworth will build the chassis and electric powertrain, Toyota will focus on the fuel cells and storage. In fact, the fuel cells are the same technology currently available in Toyota Mirai cars – a model expected to be offered in select Canadian markets later this year.
Shell will offer the research fleet’s all-important fueling stations, with one at the Port of Los Angeles and another location likely near the airport in Ontario, Calif.
Drawing on 420 kW of power from a pair of carbon fiber fuel cells, the Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle will maintain about 50 km/h on a 6% grade, and deliver enough torque to start on a 20% grade, managing the motion with a four-speed automated manual transmission. It will have a range of about 480 km between charges.
The energy is stored as hydrogen, but converted into electricity that’s held in 12 kWh batteries to actually drive the electric motor.