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HD electric truck race is on in US

HD electric truck race is on in US

NZ Truck & Driver News

 March 2020   
Suddenly, there's a race to get heavy-duty battery electric trucks onto the United States market – with Volvo Trucks and PACCAR unveiling electric models.

Daimler Trucks North America has led the way, with pre-production versions of its HD Freightliner eCascadia in daily work in two fleets since last August. It aims to have the eCascadia in production next year. 

Now Volvo Trucks has shown off an electric version of its North American bonneted VNR HD model, and says pre-production versions will soon go to work in Californian trucking companies.…and it will go on the market late this year.

While PACCAR has revealed that it's working with Meritor to produce battery electric versions of the Kenworth T680 and Peterbilt 579 and vocational 520 HD models. 

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Suddenly, there's a race to get heavy-duty battery electric trucks onto the United States market – with Volvo Trucks and PACCAR unveiling electric models.
Daimler Trucks North America has led the way, with pre-production versions of its HD Freightliner eCascadia in daily work in two fleets since last August. It aims to have the eCascadia in production next year. 
Now Volvo Trucks has shown off an electric version of its North American bonneted VNR HD model, and says pre-production versions will soon go to work in Californian trucking companies.…and it will go on the market late this year.
While PACCAR has revealed that it's working with Meritor to produce battery electric versions of the Kenworth T680 and Peterbilt 579 and vocational 520 HD models. 
They will begin production late this year – with the factory ramping-up its output next year.
Volvo Trucks North America says it has utilised the Volvo Group's existing electromobility technology – with Volvo already selling electric trucks in Europe for urban applications and trialling concept versions of construction and regional distribution etrucks – and integrated it into the VNR Electric.
But, as VTNA president Peter Voorhoeve points out, for etrucks to work, "it takes more than just the truck."
"It's the delivery of the complete eco-system for zero-emission, heavy-duty transport, and taking responsibility for that ecosystem.
"You can only achieve this by having a common goal, fully integrated collaboration amongst all stakeholders, and agreeing to be pioneers together."
To that end, the Volvo Group is a major contributor to a collaboration between 15 public and private organisations in North America committed to demonstrating the viability of all-electric freight transport in high-density traffic and urban areas. 
The first VNR Electrics will go into real-world commercial operations with two Californian freight companies.
VTNA says its BEV will be "the ideal truck model for short-haul and regional-haul applications like heavy urban distribution, drayage and other applications where electric trucks will first have the greatest impact."
Kenworth says its T680E will be available as a short-bonnet day cab model, as a 4x2 or 6x4 tractor unit, or a 6x4 rigid. It will have an operating range of 160 to 240 kilometres, depending on application.
The T680E's development, in collaboration with Meritor, "is a major advanced technology step in Kenworth's evolution of zero-emission electric powertrain solutions for our customers," says Kenworth general manager and PACCAR VP Kevin Baney.
And Meritor VP of global electrification T.J. Reed, says the company is looking forward "to delivering on our goal to be the premier supplier of electrification technologies for commercial vehicles."
Peterbilt GM and PACCAR VP Jason Skoog says that "Peterbilt is leading the charge when it comes to electrification – and this agreement with Meritor is just another example of our commitment to battery electric vehicles." 
Freightliner's eCascadia, which has a range of up to 400kms, follows on from its medium-duty eM2 etruck, which has also been undergoing extensive field testing and is also scheduled to begin production next year.
Penske Logistics says that its eCascadias have clocked-up 16,000 kilometres doing multiple daily deliveries for a quick-service restaurant chain in Southern California.
Company president Mark Althen says: "For a fleet that runs trucks 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, 10,000 miles may not seem like a milestone, but we believe we are the first fleet in the US to make daily store deliveries using battery electric heavy-duty tractors for regional distribution.
"We're quite impressed with the performance of the eCascadia."  


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