With little more than a few tufts of steam and the scrape of tires on the test track at the PACCAR Technical Center outside Mt. Vernon, WA, editors got a chance to take Kenworth’s $7 million Zero Emission Cargo Transport (ZECT) fuel cell-fired electric truck out for a spin.
Based on a daycab T680 tractor model, the ZECT is a hybrid truck that uses 2,000-lbs. worth of lithium-ion batteries to power its dual-rotor electric motor that can generate up to 560 hp.
A hydrogen-powered fuel cell generates electricity to keep the battery pack fully charged, giving the vehicle a range of approximately 150 miles when pulling a fully loaded trailer.
The truck editors piloted a fully-loaded ZCET tractor-trailer around the PACCAR Technical Center track with a gross combined vehicle weight (GCVW) of 78,980 lbs. Engineers limited the truck’s “horsepower” during its test drives to just over 400 hp (some 300 kilowatts in electrical terms) with editors staying around 45 mph as they maneuvered the tractor-trailer down straightaways and through a demonstration course marked off by cones.