Kenworth Truck Company and Toyota Motor North America are collaborating to develop ten zero-emission Kenworth T680 trucks powered by Toyota hydrogen fuel cell electric powertrains.

The collaboration is part of a $41m Zero and Near-Zero Emissions Freight Facilities (ZANZEFF) grant awarded by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The Port of Los Angeles is the prime applicant.

The money granted is part of a $82m programme that will place fuel cell electric tractors, hydrogen fuelling infrastructure, and zero emissions cargo handling equipment into operation in the ports and Los Angeles basin in 2020.

“This is an excellent opportunity for Kenworth and Toyota to work together to both explore and drive the development of advanced zero emission technologies that will play a critical role in the commercial transportation of the future,” said Mike Dozier, Kenworth General Manager and PACCAR Vice President.

The Kenworth and Toyota fuel cell T680s combine hydrogen gas and air to produce electricity to power the electric motors which move the tucks, while charging the lithium-ion batteries to optimise performance. The new trucks will transport cargo across the Los Angeles basin and to inland cities.

“This is not just a science experiment; the goal is to make a difference in society. To remove pollution and improve the air quality in and around the Port of Los Angeles,” said Bob Carter, Executive Vice President, Toyota Motor, North America.

The programme will also fund foundational hydrogen fuel infrastructure, including two new fuelling stations that, subject to a final investment decision by Equilon Enterprises LCC, will be developed through Shell Oil Products US, to support the operation of the fuel cell electric trucks in Southern California.