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Toro to help design fuel celled utility vehicles

Bloomington, Mich.-based Toro announced it has been selected to help design and build two fuel cell-powered utility vehicles with advanced hydrogen storage technology.

Toro was selected to partner with Ronkonkoma, N.Y.-based ATK, an aerospace and defense company, which was awarded the contract by the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division, which is collaborating with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) to coordinate hydrogen storage development efforts for the U.S. Department of Energy, the company said.

Toro recently completed a three-year demonstration of its new hydrogen-powered Workman utility vehicles for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The Workman was used at various sites, including Niagara Falls State Park, Bethpage State Park and Rockefeller Plaza Government Center. The vehicles were shown to operate reliably in shuttling workers and grounds equipment, hauling turf materials and assisting with refuse removal, the company said.

Toro’s Center for Advanced Turf Technology (CATT) will assist ATK in designing two operational machines based on the Toro Workman chassis. The group will also provide technical expertise on end-use applications.

“We’re excited to partner on this project to leverage our field experience and further our efforts in the development of alternative fuel solutions,” said Dana Lonn, director of Toro’s CATT Group. “Our motivation in alternative energy is to reduce emissions, hydraulic leaks and noise levels for our customers. Therefore, we need to remain aggressive in identifying the best technologies to deliver these results at a competitive price.”

The fuel cell utility vehicles, powered by a solid hydrogen storage system, are scheduled for delivery later this fall to the DLA for a 12-month operational demonstration.

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