September 7, 2023

Toyota will use fuel cell ‘emissions’ to supply a car wash


Emissions from a FuelCell Energy plant will help supply water for a car wash for incoming Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles at the Port of Long Beach, California.

It is one of three renewable energy uses at Toyota’s port vehicle processing center. The company claims it is the first to use 100% renewable electricity generated on site.

Toyota and FuelCell Energy Inc. claim the plant models how stationary fuel cell technology can reduce emissions from commercial operations.

Danbury, Connecticut-based FuelCell Energy owns and operates the “Tri-gen system. It produces renewable electricity, renewable hydrogen and water from directed biogas. Toyota will buy the renewable energy produced for 20 years.

Tri-gen is an example of FuelCell Energy’s ability to scale hydrogen-powered fuel cell technology, CEO Jason Few said. 

The companies expect Tri-gen’s carbon-neutral products to remove more than 9,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from the power grid annually. It also helps offset more than 6 tons of smog-creating nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from the electric grid. The use of hydrogen-powered fuel cell trucks reduces diesel consumption by 420,000 gallons a year.

Systems could work in other places

“Working with FuelCell Energy, we now have a world-class facility that will help Toyota achieve its carbon reduction efforts,”  Chris Reynolds, Toyota chief administrative officer, said in a news release. “The great news is this real-world example can be duplicated in many parts of the globe.”

FuelCell Energy’s technology uses an electrochemical process that converts directed renewable biogas into electricity, hydrogen and usable water. The combustion-free process emits practically no air pollutants.

The Tri-gen system produces 2.3-megawatts of renewable electricity. Toyota Logistics Services (TLS) will use some of that to process about 200,000 new Toyota and Lexus vehicles annually.

Production of up to 1,200 kilograms of hydrogen per day provides fuel for incoming Toyota Mirai fuel cell passenger vehicles and for a nearby heavy-duty hydrogen refueling station to support logistics and drayage operations at the port. 

TLS plans to use 1,400 gallons of water from fuel cell production for washing cars before they are loaded for delivery to dealers. Water vapor is a fuel cell’s only emission. The fuel cell water will help cut the use of about a half a million gallons of water from constrained local supplies.

Electricity that TLS doesn’t goes to Southern California Edison for returning to the electric grid under the California Bioenergy Market Adjustment Tariff program.

Port of Long Beach lands $30M for zero-emissions equipment

Ports begin charging diesel-powered polluters to build Clean Truck Fund

Toyota aiming heavy-duty fuel cells for sale this year

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Alan Adler.


The second annual F3: Future of Freight Festival will be held in Chattanooga, “The Scenic City,” this November. F3 combines innovation and entertainment — featuring live demos, industry experts discussing freight market trends for 2024, afternoon networking events, and Grammy Award-winning musicians performing in the evenings amidst the cool Appalachian fall weather.

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