Transport Topics Online  
The Newspaper of Trucking and Freight Transportation
Welcome  Guest  Log In         
5/19/2017 4:00:00 PM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Industry Looks Beyond Batteries to Power Longhaul Electric Tractors


Sturgess Associates

This story appears in the May 15 print edition of Equipment & Maintenance Update, a supplement to Transport Topics.

Technological advances soon could make electric Class 8 tractors feasible for longhaul applications, but rather than relying solely on plug-in battery systems, those trucks likely will incorporate other power configurations such as hybrid solutions and hydrogen fuel cells.

At the same time, many predict that ­diesel fuel will continue to play a prominent role in powering the truck of the future.

“For longhaul, I don’t think any of the regulators or truck manufacturers today see batteries as a path to get to an all-­electric truck,” said Patrick Couch, vice president of technical services for Gladstein, Neandross & Associates, a consulting firm specializing in alternative-fuel applications. “There would have to be a really fundamental breakthrough in the technology we have today.”

BEST OF MAY E&MU: More stories, columns

The challenge of a battery-electric vehicle for longhaul is the battery weight and charging requirements.

“If you were to consider a full-electric vehicle, Class 8, with a 200-mile range and a 65 miles-per-hour top speed, you’re looking at a battery that weighs as much as 16,000 pounds,” said Darren Gosbee, vice president of powertrain and advanced technology for Navistar International Corp., maker of the International brand of trucks.

Bill Kahn, principal engineer at Peterbilt Motors Co., a unit of Paccar Inc., estimates that a battery with a 200-mile range could cost up to $100,000.

Manufacturers have several methods beyond batteries to electrify a Class 8 tractor.

Many manufacturers are taking “baby steps” before going all in, said Robert Braswell, acting executive director of American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council. “In terms of electrification, you can either do a lot or a little.”

2 3 4 5 6 Next >>

By Mindy Long
Contributing Writer


Follow Transport Topics on Subscribe to get up to the minute news briefs and more from our feeds. RSS Twitter Twitter Facebook Facebook

© 2017, Transport Topics, American Trucking Associations Inc.
Reproduction, redistribution, display or rebroadcast by any means without written permission is prohibited.


  RELATED ARTICLES

 
LATEST NEWS



 
LATEST JOBS
Follow Us

Newsletters

TTExpress
This free daily newsletter delivers the latest headlines.

TT Executive Suite
This subscriber-only newsletter program tailors your news.

Services

Advertising

EMU
iTech
© American Trucking Associations, Inc., All Rights Reserved TTNews.com Privacy Statement