San Diego Company Emphasizes Battery Electric ‘Trucks that Work:’
Emission-Free Class 8 Road and Drayage Vehicles, and School Buses
As Cylindrical Geometry Battery Cells Boost Efficiency & Range by 60%
San Diego-based TransPower is advising customers about its augmented “ElecTruck” line of heavy duty fully battery electric trucks and related equipment – available too with hydrogen fuel cell and hybrid power. TransPower products – in real-world service since late 2013 – range from individual components to full blown kits for the conversion of new of existing trucks.
At the top of the TransPower “product hierarchy” is a proprietary EV system controller that nakes efficient, emission-free Class 8 trucking possible. Models-based control software is written using Matlab/Simullink and run on embedded New Eagle processors, the company says.
Motor control and battery charging functions are embedded in a proprietary ICU/inverter-charger unit. Separate controllers manage the company’s proprietary AMT/automated manual transmission and “Cell-Saver” brand BMS/battery management system.
$295,000 and Down
TransPower has shifted to cylindrical lithium ion battery cells offering 60% greater energy density than previous prismatic cells.
TransPower posts preliminary prices of $295,000 for the fully integrated driveline of a Class 8 on-road truck in low volumes (fewer than ten units), dropping to $245,000 for runs of ten to 100 and $195,000 for orders of 100-plus. The corresponding prices for a Class 8 yard tractor are $235,000, $195,000, and $150,000 – applicable too to a Type C school bus.
‘Products that Work’
“The prices,” says TransPower president and CEO Mike Simon, “are high, but they are for products that work and they give us a place to start.” TransPower trucks have been through lengthy real-world trucks with customers including Ikea (in Texas and California; F&F, April 15, 2013), National Retail Systems, and operators at the Port of Los Angeles.
Publicity-wise, “We’ve been sitting on the sidelines,” Simon says, waiting for mileage and performance figures to prove the capability and reliability of TransPower’s electric vehicles.
70,000 Miles of Proof
“Fleet-wide we are approaching 70,000 miles” of service, Simon says. He notes too that the company’s first Type C electric school bus entered service with the Los Angeles area’s Torrance Unified last week after being approved by CHP, the California Highway Patrol.
Five more school buses “are on the way,” he says – two built and three others nearly completed. TransPower uses end-of-life International/IC Bus chassis.
‘Used Every Day to Haul Freight’
Given the latest technology advances, the company says, “trucks and tractors using TransPower’s ElecTruck products are arguably among the most technologically advanced electric vehicles in the world.” Performance attributes include the ability to
- haul fully loaded containers up steep grades;
- accelerate to freeway speeds as rapidly as conventional trucks;
- provide sufficient starting torque while also being able to sustain high speeds while operating on freeways;
- provide full power at all times, even at low battery state of charge;
- operate quietly and with high efficiency;
- deliver sufficient operating range to meet daily drayage duty cycle requirements;
- permit easy access to key components for servicing and support; and
- be replicated in the form of transportable “kits” that can be delivered to major truck original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and other vehicle converters, and installed on their own assembly lines.
“The trade press would be doing a tremendous service to fleet operators,” Simon told F&F, “if a greater distinction could be made between vehicles operating every day with real-world fleets, and those that are still experimental, or haven’t even been prototyped yet.”
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Source: TransPower with Fleets & Fuels follow-up