CNG to Power an ISL G Near Zero Hybrid Drive in One T680,
A Second Class 8 Vehicle Is to Have Ballard Fuel Cell Power
By Rich Piellisch – May 6, 2017
Kenworth said at ACT Expo on May 2 that it’s continuing to advance its low- and even zero-emission T680 day cabs for drayage tractor operation in Southern California ports, designing hydrogen- and CNG/compressed natural gas-fueled versions of the Class 8 truck, backed by some $9 million in government grants awarded last August.
Kenworth’s prototype Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell tractor is designed to provide true zero-emissions operation. The design employs a Ballard Power Systems fuel cell to charge the lithium ion batteries that power a dual-rotor electric motor, driving the rear tandem axle through a four-speed automated transmission.
The hydrogen truck is expected to be ready for initial track and on-road testing in the fourth quarter of this year, Kenworth says.
Hard at Work Right Now
Also just this week, Kenworth began building a second prototype series hybrid-electric T680 day cab designed to produce near-zero-emissions. The vehicle will use the super low-NOx – and currently available – Cummins Westport ISL G Near Zero engine fueled by CNG to generate electricity. Initial track and road testing is expected to start in the fourth quarter.
“These two T680 tractors will be identical,” Kenworth says, “with the exception of their power generation systems.” Each will have an electric-only range of approximately 30 miles, while the onboard fuel – hydrogen or natural gas – “will provide sufficient range for a full day in regional haul applications.”
Federal and State Funding
Kenworth’s work on these programs is supported by grants of $2.1 million for each project from EERE, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, with SCAQMD, Southern California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District as the prime applicant.
A third project received $4.8 million in funding from the California Air Resources Board, again with the SCAQMD as the prime applicant.
Starting in 2018, and drawing on data collected from 2017 the hybrid-electric T680, Kenworth will build four additional hybrid-electric T680 day cabs equipped with the Cummins Westport ISL G Near Zero NOx engine operating on CNG, and will support customer field tests in Southern California drayage operations.
POLA and POLB
All six prototype T680 day cab drayage tractors, produced as a result of these Kenworth programs, will transport freight from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to warehouses and railyards in the Los Angeles basin.
“These T680 day cab projects provide an excellent opportunity for Kenworth to develop and advance important technologies that may play a critical role in the trucks of tomorrow,” said Kenworth chief engineer Patrick Dean.
‘We Look Forward to Playing a Leadership Role’
“Within the next decade,” he said, “hybrid-electric powertrains are expected to be required to satisfy emissions regulations in several major U.S. metropolitan areas.” For example, California is considering regulations that will require zero-emission levels for port drayage trucks operating in specifically designated areas.
“We look forward to playing a leadership role to meet the opportunities and challenges ahead.”
Brian Lindgren is R&D manager for Kenworth Truck.
ACT Expo 2018 – the next Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo – has been scheduled for April 30-May 3, 2018 – again at Southern California’s Long Beach Convention Center.