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TransPower and IKEA Test Tractor

November 10, 2015 in Alternative Fuels, Electric Drive, EVs, industrial, investments, Research, Technology, Testing, transit by Jon LeSage  |  No Comments

Year-long Test Results from Electric Truck

IKEA and TransPower announced results from their first year of testing a demonstration vehicle. An electric yard tractor has been driven at IKEA’s distribution center in Tejon, Calif. TransPower’s electric propulsion has powered a Kalmar heavy-duty tractor, which is being used to minimize CO2 emissions.

TransPower’s electric propulsion has powered a Kalmar heavy-duty tractor, which is being used to minimize CO2 emissions.

TransPower’s electric propulsion has powered a Kalmar heavy-duty tractor, which is being used to minimize CO2 emissions.


IKEA’s First Electric Demo

The demonstration was initiated on Sept. 24, 2014, and was the first long-term trial of an electric yard truck at any IKEA facility worldwide. The truck has accumulated more than 13,000 miles of operation since its deployment with IKEA. It became IKEA’s preferred tractor due to its high reliability and low operating cost.

“The TransPower electric tractor exceeded our expectations across the board. We routinely use this tractor for three shifts per day, and it has shown reliability at least equal to that of a typical diesel tractor,” said Jim Cavezza, IKEA deputy distribution operation manager, in a press release.

Reducing IKEA employee exposure to noise and truck vibrations has made the electric tractor even more appealing. The cost of energy for the electric tractor has also been very competitive, at less than 3 cents per mile compared to more than 75 cents per mile for a diesel tractor.

Electric cost savings were helped out by the Tejon facility’s 1.8 megawatt solar array on the roof. The solar power provides 90% of the electrical energy used to charge the tractor’s 120 lithium-ion batteries.

EPA and APCD Funding

Funding for manufacturing and demonstration of the IKEA electric tractor was provided
by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (APCD). Since this tractor was delivered to IKEA last year, four additional tractors of this design have been converted by TransPower and placed into operation throughout California.

Achieving this kind of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions ties into IKEA’s sustainability strategy. “Based on the tremendous success of this project, we have decided to purchase this tractor and enter it into our Tejon fleet permanently, and we are looking for opportunities that could help us acquire additional TransPower vehicles for all of our North America logistic units,” said Adolfo Kurczyn, Sustainability Manager at IKEA Distribution Services North America.


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