Sexy Tesla sports cars aren’t the only vehicles that deserve the battery treatment – drayage vehicles, school buses, garbage trucks and cargo haulers are also going electric.
And the ranks of those medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles are swelling, according to a panel discussion at the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo in Long Beach, Calif., on Thursday.
Through various partnerships, battery-electric technology company TransPower has 12 battery-electric trucks – built on the Peterbilt 579 chassis – deploying as demonstration drayage vehicles in 2018 and 2019.
The company, which helps adapt large vehicles to electric powertrains, unveiled its electric Kalmar T2 tractor this week and is sending it to work next week at Grimmway Farms in Bakersfield, Calif., with eight more coming on board in 2017. In addition to the two Blue Bird International school buses TransPower fixed to operate at the Torrance, Calif. school district, four more buses will go into rotation this year.
There’s also the eHighway project currently testing in Carson, Calif., that the South Coast Air Quality Management District is working on with German engineering giant Siemens and several other partners. The venture features a catenary system to help charge electric trucks faster.