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TransPower Flexes Its All-Battery Muscles

March 27, 2015 in Companies, Electric Drive, EVs, money awarded by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Says Hard Data Backs Its Claims of Full Heavy Tractor Capability
As Company Awarded Funding for Demonstrations and Expansion

San Diego-based Transportation Power, Inc. is throwing down the gauntlet on heavy duty all-electric terminal tractors, claiming it’s got more data than anyone on range and heavy-load capabilities.

TransPower not only demonstrated its battery-electric Class 8 tractors to representatives of the Los Angeles-Long Beach ports this week, but drove the trucks to the demonstration site in Rancho Dominguez from its headquarters in San Diego.

TransPower not only demonstrated its battery-electric Class 8 tractors to representatives of the Los Angeles-Long Beach ports this week, but drove the trucks to the demonstration site in Rancho Dominguez from its headquarters in San Diego.

“We believe our battery-electric vehicles are the only proven, fully operational zero emission trucks in the world capable of hauling loads up to the Class 8 truck limit of 80,000 pounds,” TransPower president and CEO Mike Simon said in a release.

TransPower conducted a demonstration of four fully functional battery-electric Class 8 trucks this week, “just hours,” the company says, after the California Energy Commission announced its award of nearly $9 million to TransPower for new electric truck and tractor demonstration projects.

Navistar and Kalmar Chassis

“We are especially proud of the fact that we drove all four of these trucks from the heart of San Diego County 110 miles to the Los Angeles-Long Beach port region,” Simon said. “These four trucks have made more than ten intercity trips of about 80 to 120 miles over the past year.”

TransPower tractors at work for Ikea

TransPower tractors at work for Ikea

In addition to the Navistar International ProStar-chassis vehicles, TransPower has converted five Kalmar tractors to electric operation, “three of which are being used in daily commercial service hauling loads equal or greater than those typically handled by conventional tractors,” says TransPower president and CEO Mike Simon.

Ikea, Dole, SA Recycling: ‘Heavy, Heavy Loads’

“One of these tractors is now the primary use tractor at Ikea’s main California distribution center, where it has accumulated more than 5,000 miles of in-service use,” Simon says.

“Another is in operation at Dole Fresh Fruits,” he told F&F, “and the third is being operated by SA Recycling, which hauls scrap metal.

“All three of these tractors carry heavy, heavy loads.”

Demos This Week at TTSI in Rancho Dominguez

The four trucks demonstrated at Total Transportation Services, Inc. headquarters in south central Los Angeles this week were also partially funded by CEC, TransPower says, noting that TTSI is one of five private companies using its Class 8 electric vehicles in day-to-day service.

The new funding is to support three new TransPower truck and tractor demonstration projects, “expected to begin by this summer and to result in new vehicle deployments by next year:”

  • A collaboration with four operators of yard tractor fleets – Ikea, Harris Ranch, Grimmway Farms, and Devine Intermodal – to deploy five battery-electric yard tractors in California’s Central Valley and Sacramento. Five new tractors will be distributed among these fleets, augmenting the five similar tractors built last year for Ikea, Dole, and SA Recycling. TransPower says that its proposal for the tractor demos was the highest ranked of 33 proposals received by the CEC.
  • A project to demonstrate two additional electric tractors with Dole at the Port of San Diego, along with electric drayage trucks to be operated at the Port of San Diego by BAE Systems and Terminalift. This project will also involve the upgrade of a large battery-operated “reach stacker” vehicle which TransPower built with funding from Terminalift in 2014. “This proposal was ranked third among the 33 proposals reviewed by the CEC,” TransPower says.
  • A project to install TransPower’s battery-electric truck system into a demonstration fleet of three refuse trucks. Two of these trucks will be operated by the County of Sacramento and the third will be operated by a major waste hauling firm to be named later. “This proposal was ranked fourth among the 33 funding requests received by the CEC.”

“These new contracts continue a string of recent TransPower successes in acquiring funding to support its electric vehicle research, manufacturing, and demonstration projects,” the company says. Last week the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District approved funding for a TransPower electric truck with a hydrogen fuel cell to extend its operating range.

TransPower late last month received a separate award from the CEC to fund expansion of its electric vehicle manufacturing facilities. TransPower says it “expects to soon receive another contract award, to expand its development and deployment of electric trucks with natural gas-fueled range extenders.

More than $16.1 Million in New Funding

“The total value of these new contract awards is more than $16.1 million, and they will increase TransPower’s current funded backlog to more than $21 million.”

“Our accomplishments create a strong foundation for deploying the larger fleets of trucks and buses we expect to be funded later this year,” Simon says in the announcement. “California’s 2015 investment plan for air quality improvement projects gives high priority to electric drayage trucks, yard tractors, and school buses – exactly those vehicles TransPower is best qualified to deliver.”

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Source: Transportation Power, Inc. with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

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