While other automakers are moving on from the idea of hydrogen-fuel cell vehicles, Toyota is ramping up production and unleashing a fleet of hydrogen-fuel cell trucks on LA and Long Beach. The trucks are a part of a test program by Toyota verifying whether or not the trucks are rugged enough and cut out to the performance tasks required of a commercial truck that’s put through hard use on a daily basis.

hydrogen fuel cell truck

Serious Performance Machines

These commercial-grade trucks from Toyota are designed to stand up to the toughest tasks, and they’re engineered for serious hauling. They each come packed with 670 HP thanks to two Mirai fuel stacks. The trucks utilize a 12 kWh battery as well as an impressive set of motors to generate a whopping 1,325 lbs.-ft. of torque giving them a gross weight capacity of up to 80,000 lbs. for serious hauling.

Why Commercial Vehicles May Benefit more from Hydrogen

Vehicles like the Mirai haven’t taken off in a huge way yet because there is a lack of refueling stations and it’s tough keeping up with the supply necessary to keep the vehicles fueled up. That’s not as much of an issue for commercial vehicles though. Most commercial vehicles have a larger driving range, and they can rely on centralized refueling stations. Commercial vehicles that follow specific routes regularly can keep fueled much more easily even though the stations are limited.

This is good news for Mirai owners and hydrogen-fuel cell proponents, because if Toyota can create good long-term commercial hydrogen-electric trucks, the automaker will refine the technology over time and all those enhancements will be passed onto future versions of the Mirai and other consumer-level hydrogen-fuel cell vehicles as well.

Toyota is starting small with its commercial truck fleet, with lots of short start and stop trips, but the automaker plans to expand its range and take vehicles further and further away over time to really test the long-hauling capabilities of its commercial fleet.

New technologies like electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are quickly becoming more and more advanced and they’re sure to take on a whole new role in the economy in the coming years. Consumers are pushing for these vehicles and governments are making alternative fuel options a priority that makes switching away from fossil fuels an important move for everyone.