Toyota’s ambitious project to take its busiest port in North America off the power grid is complete, the company reported Thursday.
While the Tri-gen plant, generating 2.3 megawatts of electricity—1.7 megawatts more than what the port typically uses—will completely cut the facility’s reliance on grid power, it will remain grid-connected. That’s because excess electricity not being used by the facility will be sold to Southern California Edison, under something called the California Bioenergy Market Adjustment (BioMAT) program, with enough to power almost 2,500 homes in the area annually.
Tri-gen will use agricultural methane to generate the electricity and produce up to 1,200 kg of hydrogen per day. The latter will go toward fueling Mirai vehicles as they come into port, and supplying fuel-cell-powered logistics systems and drayage trucks.
Toyota says that the fuel-cell plant will also generate 1,400 gallons of water per day, which will go toward washing cars at the port.
Lexus RZ getting car wash – Long Beach port
According to Toyota, Long Beach is its largest port for North American import/export, and it processes about 200,000 vehicles a year. It’s also the only port of entry for the Toyota Mirai fuel-cell sedan.
How does it work? The Tri-gen system, from FuelCell Energy, is a larger-scale distributed hydrogen system that receives agricultural biogas via a pipeline. That’s converted to hydrogen inside the system’s industrial-scale fuel-cell stacks.
Toyota and FuelCell Energy – Long Beach
The system uses steam reformation, pushing the super-heated gas into the stacks, with excess heat and water produced, as well as hydrogen that’s collected and purified. The key difference with Tri-Gen versus standard steam reformation is that excess thermal energy from the fuel-cell system, rather than from burning more fuel, is used to reform hydrogen.
Toyota says there are “virtually no air pollutants” from the entire process. FuelCell Energy reports NOx emissions as being negligible, while greenhouse-gas emissions are about 40% less than conventional steam methane reformation with natural gas. In the math of carbon footprint, which can sometimes get quite fuzzy, the resulting hydrogen is considered carbon-free. But in the simpler calculations of equating it to what the grid would otherwise produce, it claims it will be averting six tons of smog-forming NOx and 9,000 tons of CO2 each year.
Toyota Mirai and fuel-cell semi, with FuelCell Energy at Long Beach
On-site, much of the hydrogen will go toward fueling short-haul hydrogen-powered semis being put to use around the port. These trucks, originally under what was called Project Portal with the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, have moved on to a second generation of the tech employing the latest-generation fuel-cell stack, and Toyota is making stacks for fuel-cell semis in Kentucky.
Sign up to get the latest green car and environmental news, delivered to your inbox daily!
Which two automakers aborted plans to create millions of EVs together? Which charging network became the first one to buy charging hardware from Tesla? This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending October 27, 2023. This past week, the Tokyo auto show, officially the Japan Mobility Show, was the backdrop for various EV concept reveals. That included several Toyota concept vehicles were revealed for the show, including a Land Cruiser Se EV concept that might take the rugged off-road nameplate in a new direction—potentially…
The Kayoibako makes efficient use of space, and it isn’t the only electric truck concept Toyota revealed for the Tokyo auto show.
The Tesla DC fast chargers will be deployed starting in 2024, and it marks the first sale of Tesla’s chargers to a third-party charging network.
Prices on used EVs have dropped enough to counter soaring finance rates and boost affordability. Mazda looks to its rotary heritage for a series-hybrid sports car concept. And Lexus previews EVs and some standout tech in Tokyo concepts. This and more, here at Green Car Reports. The Lexus LF-ZL…
A surge in used EV sales corresponds to lower prices—resulting in better affordability despite higher finance costs.
Also unveiled at Tokyo was the Lexus LF-ZC concept, a sleek hatch that Lexus said will enter production in 2026, and sporting a steer-by-wire system.
Rotary power could could rev up a new electric sports car with a range of different fuels, Mazda suggests.
The Fisker Ocean gets a price adjustment. GM delays some of its upcoming EVs. And an EV partnership between Honda and GM is over. This and more, here at Green Car Reports. GM on Monday confirmed that it’s delaying production of the Chevrolet Equinox EV, as well as some versions of the Chevy…
GM is planning a lower-cost approach to revamping its Bolt EV, while Honda’s own platform is arriving early.
Other models in the Ocean lineup posted modest price increases, while top 360-mile Extreme models get a lot more affordable.
Production delays of “just a few months” will allow for changes aimed at improving efficiency and lowering production costs, CEO Mary Barra argued.
Toyota tests the appeal of an electric truck that’s around the same size as the Ford Maverick. Infiniti shows a production-bound electric sedan, in concept form. And Stellantis points to more electric Ram vans—some with fuel cells, too. This and more, here at Green Car Reports. The…