Southern California Gas Company is exhibiting fuel-cell technology this week at the World of Ag Expo. Both vehicles on display, a Kenworth T680 FCEV and a Toyota Mirai, are powered by Toyota hydrogen fuel cells.   -  Photo: SoCalGas

Southern California Gas Company is exhibiting fuel-cell technology this week at the World of Ag Expo. Both vehicles on display, a Kenworth T680 FCEV and a Toyota Mirai, are powered by Toyota hydrogen fuel cells. 

Photo: SoCalGas

Southern California Gas Company, Kenworth Truck Company, and Toyota Motor North America are displaying two zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) at the annual World Ag Expo this week in Tulare, California.

SoCalGas' booth features Kenworth's Class 8 T680 hydrogen FCEV truck powered by Toyota, as well as one of SoCalGas's zero-emissions fleet vehicles, a hydrogen fuel cell electric Toyota Mirai.

Sustainability Through FCEVs

As part of its Aspire 2045 sustainability strategy, SoCalGas has converted 38% of its over-the-road fleet to run on alternative fuels like hydrogen, renewable natural gas, and battery electric. The company said it plans to continue growing its alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) fleet, with an interim goal of reaching a 50% AFV-powered fleet by 2025 and a 100% zero-emissions fleet by 2035.  

"Incorporating multiple options like hydrogen, renewable natural gas, and electric vehicles, especially for medium- and heavy-duty transportation, can help provide companies and California a reliable and resilient path to reduce greenhouse gas and nitrogen oxide emissions and improve air quality in our local communities," said Don Widjaja, vice president of customer energy solutions at SoCalGas.

FCEV Pilot Program

Last year, Kenworth and Toyota completed a joint pilot program at the Port of Los Angeles where Kenworth customers operated 10 prototype T680 hydrogen FCEV trucks in a real-world setting. The program's success laid the foundation for Kenworth and Toyota engineers to develop the T680 FCEV which is the focus of its commercialization plans.

The T680 FCEV is powered by Gen 2 Toyota fuel cells with 60kG of onboard compressed hydrogen storage behind the cab. The fuel cell stacks provide power to a 310kW electric motor, bolstered by 200kW of onboard battery storage, that together efficiently provide 415 continuous horsepower with a range of up to 450 miles on a single hydrogen fill.

"With quick refueling, our regional and long-haul customers can achieve round-the-clock operations with an option that reliably and sustainably decarbonizes their fleet,” said Kevin Haygood, Kenworth assistant general manager for sales and marketing.

FCEV Fleet Vehicles

Also on display at the booth is one of SoCalGas' zero-emissions hydrogen fleet vehicles, the Toyota Mirai, which uses a hydrogen fuel cell to generate electricity to power the vehicle. The latest 2023 model has a range of up to 402 miles, with city/highway mileage of up to 76/71 mpg equivalent respectively.

The Toyota Mirai is powered by a hydrogen fuel-cell stack, which contains multiple fuel cells, like the one shown in the inset photo.  -  Photo: Wayne Parham

The Toyota Mirai is powered by a hydrogen fuel-cell stack, which contains multiple fuel cells, like the one shown in the inset photo.

Photo: Wayne Parham

"The Japanese word Mirai means 'future,' and our cutting-edge Mirai helped shine a light on how hydrogen can provide a viable pathway to a zero emissions future for company fleets," said Thibaut de Barros Conti, general manager of fuel cell solutions, Toyota Motor North America. "Because of the scalability of our hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric technology, we were able to integrate it into the Kenworth T680 truck to highlight how commercial customers can reduce their carbon footprint, operate more sustainably, and still maintain current range and refueling expectations."

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