Hopefully truckers will be able to have fun with this before robots replace human drivers.
When it comes to alternative fuels, the most talked about source of stored kinetic energy that will one day replace the sticky dead dinosaur goop is electricity. Already there are plenty of electric cars on the road today and they seem poised to outsell the hugely popular pickup segment in America if trends continue. However, there's another power source that's quietly being refined as the EV gains popularity, and one automaker in particular is making the biggest push for it.
The fuel would be hydrogen and the automaker would be Toyota, none other than the second largest auto manufacturer on the planet. Toyota currently sells the Mirai hydrogen vehicle in California in small numbers, mainly as a way to test the waters of the technology before offering it in larger numbers, but the Japanese automaker has also recently built an experimental semi truck.
Technically, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are electric cars, the only difference being that the electricity is made onboard the car using a chemical reaction between positively charged hydrogen ions and an oxidizing agent rather than produced at a power plant and stored in a battery that's quickly depleted. YouCar recently filmed a drag race between a standard diesel semi truck and Toyota's hydrogen truck to see which technology is best suited for the task and found hydrogen to be a winner. With maximum electric torque available off the line, it's really no surprise that the fuel of the future takes the W. Let's just hope truckers get to enjoy this kind of power before autonomous trucks take over.