Following the success of hydrogen technology in passenger cars, Toyota has ramped up its fuel-cell technology for use in heavy trucks.

Toyota scaled up the technology used in the Mirai to create a silent and powerful source for a 36-tonne semi and will be called the Project Portal.

Toyota North America executive vice president Bob Carter said the hydrogen technology holds huge potential for trucks and fuel-cell powered buses.

“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,” Carter said.

Project Portal is the next step in Toyota’s effort to broaden the application of zero-emission fuel cell technology that can serve a range of industries, and will be trialled between Los Angeles’ ports and Long Beach.

It is a fully functioning heavy-duty truck with the power and torque capacity to transport cargo between the two ports while emitting nothing but water vapour.

The truck generates more than 500kW of power and almost 1800Nm of torque from two Mirai fuel-cell stacks and a 12kWh battery.

The concept’s gross combined weight capacity is more than 36.2 tonnes and is estimated to have a range of 320km.

Project Portal underscores Toyota’s on-going commitment to fuel-cell technology and the potential of a hydrogen society.

Late last year, Toyota Australia unveiled a mobile hydrogen refueller that enabled three demonstration Mirai fuel-cell sedans to go anywhere in Australia that a conventional car can be driven.

Locally the company is continuing to work with governments, industry and other key stakeholders in Australia to fast-track the development of the refueling infrastructure required to support the widespread sale of fuel-cell vehicles.