“Drivers like these trucks because they are peppy and quiet,” Lindgren said.
The fuel-cell system that will be used in the prototypes will be supplied by Toyota and is an updated version of an original test vehicle that operated at the ports this past year. The new trucks will actually pair two stacks producing about 228 kilowatts, or 306 horsepower. That understates the power the technology delivers because the electric motors that drive the wheels produce tremendous amounts of torque — though Paccar and Toyota officials didn’t have the final torque numbers available.
Improving performance and easing the job of a fuel-cell truck’s driver, the Paccar/Toyota technology will require only a four-speed transmission, rather than the 18-gear transmissions in the typical Class 8 truck.
In production, meanwhile, Andy Lund, the Toyota chief engineer on the project, said the trucks would have the same payload capacity as a diesel rig.