Toyota Hydrogen Fleets Applauded By CA Environmentalists

by Jake Tully - Published: 4/20/2017

For those who dream of a highway in Southern California unhindered by the emissions, noise or reduced speed of semi-trucks, the reality of the situation may not be far behind.

Toyota Motor North America announced earlier today a trucking industry related campaign, “Project Portal’ – wherein heavy duty trucks utilize a hydrogen fuel cell system in the Port of Los Angeles.

In conjunction with CARB – the California Air Resources Board and the CEC – California Energy Commission, Toyota aims to further the implantation of zero-emission trucks in the lower part of Southern California in order to contribute to Clean Air Plans and help de-congest and clean up the 710 Freeway, as well as the surrounding areas.
"Toyota believes that hydrogen fuel cell technology has tremendous potential to become the powertrain of the future," said TMNA Executive Vice President Bob Carter. "From creating one of the world's first mass market fuel cell vehicles, to introducing fuel cell buses in Japan, Toyota is a leader in expanding the use of versatile and scalable zero-emission technology. With Project Portal, we're proud to help explore the societal benefits of a true zero emission heavy-duty truck platform."

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The California Energy Commission believes that vehicles with hydrogen fuel cells are an active part in reducing levels of greenhouse gases in California. The Commission has plans to invest in this technology to implement in several industries, and will work alongside Toyota in order to disseminate the technology to trucking fleets of all sizes.

These findings also relate to the business realm of trucking as well, with claims that low-emission trucks will help the efficiency of drivers and freight on California roadways, and will help fleets who have adopted the technology become much more competitive than those who currently use industry standard equipment.

The Port of Los Angeles has showed support and admiration for the program as well, praising Toyota and CARB for both taking environmentally-conscious steps and challenging the current technology many trucking fleets use today.
"Our port and industry stakeholders have demonstrated their leadership in reducing pollution from port-related operations, and we see the potential of Toyota's zero-emission heavy-duty truck technology as another solution to meet the long-term goals of the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan," saidTony Gioiello, Deputy Executive Director of Port Development, Port of Los Angeles.

In San Pedro Bay and the South Bay area, many Clean Air Action Plans have been initiated in order to combat the perceived pollution problems, including a partnership with Shell to establish more hydrogen refueling stations within California.

Of the leading cause of pollutants, many environmental associations such as CARB and the CEB look to the frequency of trucks on the road and regularity of routes that these vehicles take to determine the environmental impact.

While no formal adoption plans have been made as of yet, the concern for the air quality and environmental impact come on the heels of California’s recent vote on fuel tax for both non-commercial and commercial motorists and Governor Jerry Brown’s expressed concern for environmentalism.