Hydrogen powered cars have been a reality for some time already, but now, Toyota is ready to present a hydrogen powered hauling truck. 18 wheels of steel rolling on the long California roads, without an ounce of carbon emission. How good is Toyota’s promise when put to the test of reality?
The Verge reported that Toyota has unveiled its hydrogen-powered semi. It is planned to be used as an alternative to the diesel engines, where the only emission released from the truck would be water evaporation. Sadly, for now, the truck is still in testing phase and will not be released to the market soon, but that did not stop Toyota from sharing statistics on the truck’s performance on the road. The twin hydrogen cells, backed up by a 12 kW battery manage to pull out 670 horsepower, with an effective range of 200 miles of travel. The gross weight capacity of the truck is 80,000 pounds, which pairs with modern hauling vehicles.
Toyota is not the only ones looking in the direction of hydrogen fueled trucks, as Nikola Motor Company, a Salt Lake City-based company has announced that in 2020 they will release for sale a semi which will be capable of traveling 1,200 miles before the need for a recharge.
Not everyone is a supporter of the hydrogen technology and some of the dissent towards it comes from the most unexpected of places. Forbes Magazine reported that Tesla manager Elon Musk has spoken loudly against hydrogen powered vehicles. In his opinion, it is highly inefficient to use hydrogen as a source of energy, since the whole process of extracting, compressing and storing the hydrogen would consume large amounts of energy. He has also given the example of using a solar panel as being more efficient to using hydrogen and has suggested methane or propane as more viable sources of energy.
In the end of his statement, he said that in the end, only time will show whether the hydrogen program would prove successful or not. Toyota has not yet given a release date for its hydrogen-powered semi.