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Toyota seeks fuel cell breakthrough with California hydrogen plant

Japanese automaker takes on Tesla in race for zero-emission trucks

Toyota Motor displays a fuel cell truck at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

LOS ANGELES -- Toyota Motor will build one of the world's biggest fuel cell power plants in California, coupled with a hydrogen fueling station, underscoring the company's ambition to popularize fuel cell vehicles even as most rivals shift to electric cars.

The Japanese automaker unveiled the plans Thursday at the Los Angeles Auto Show, presenting a 36-ton fuel cell semi-trailer truck -- a model positioned to compete with the new electric semi Tesla showcased just two weeks ago.

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