Kenworth, Peterbilt Exhibit Electric Models at CES

Truck Makers Announce Partnerships With Dana on E-Propulsion
Paccar and Peterbilt lineup at CES
Battery-electric and automated trucks from Kenworth and Peterbilt by Seth Clevenger/Transport Topics

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LAS VEGAS — Kenworth Truck Co. and Peterbilt Motors Co. highlighted their investments in commercial vehicle electrification by exhibiting a pair of battery-electric truck models at CES.

The truck manufacturers, both business units of Paccar Inc., also announced they are partnering with industry supplier Dana Inc. to develop electric powertrains for their medium-duty electric trucks.

In addition to the electric vehicles, Paccar showcased a Kenworth T680 tractor outfitted with sensors and software to support highly automated driving in the company’s third year exhibiting at the massive technology trade show, held Jan. 7-10.

Peterbilt displayed its Model 520EV battery-electric refuse truck at CES.

The vehicle, designed to operate a full day on a single charge, offers advantages such as quiet operation in residential areas, cost efficiencies and potential maintenance benefits that will be proved out over time as the truck logs more miles, said Scott Newhouse, Peterbilt’s chief engineer.

The Model 520EV offers a range of about 100 miles and can recharge in four hours. The vehicle is powered by a Meritor/TransPower energy storage subsystem and driven by a TransPower midship motor drive subsystem with up to 430 horsepower.


Peterbilt showcased its 520EV battery-electric refuse truck at CES. (Seth Clevenger/Transport Topics)

Besides its electric refuse truck, Peterbilt has introduced two other battery-electric models — the Model 579EV, tailored for drayage and regional haul, and the medium-duty Model 220EV, designed specifically for pickup and delivery operations.

“We’re not just applying technology to these trucks, we’re working with customers to understand their specific market needs,” Newhouse said.

Low-volume production of the Model 220EV and Model 579EV will begin late this year, followed by the Model 520EV in 2021, the company said.

Peterbilt said its fleet of 16 battery-electric prototypes has logged nearly 40,000 real-world miles in a variety of applications.

Kenworth, meanwhile, exhibited its electric-powered K270E, a medium-duty cabover model with range options between 100 and 200 miles.

The vehicle is designed for pickup and delivery applications, which are well suited to electrification, said Brian Lindgren, director of research and development at Kenworth.

“For anybody who’s going 100 miles a day on one shift, it makes a lot of sense to go to battery-electric,” he said. “As batteries become less expensive with volume, it’s going to make more and more sense. And for those companies that have sustainability goals or operate in areas that require zero emissions, then obviously this is a great way to go.”

The K270E is a result of Kenworth’s collaboration with Dana.

The truck utilizes a Spicer Electrified e-propulsion system with a central drive electric motor that connects to a conventional Dana driveshaft and drive axle. The system replaces the engine, transmission and aftertreatment and exhaust systems in the diesel version of the truck.

READ MORE: CES Exhibitors Envision Electric, Automated Future for Trucking

Kenworth plans to deliver the K270E to customers later this year. The electric powertrain will be available with range options between 100 and 200 miles.

Peterbilt, meanwhile, said it will integrate Dana’s e-propulsion system into its medium-duty Model 220EV truck, which also will feature a range between 100 and 200 miles.

“We think the future is going to be electrified solutions, and we wanted to be a leader in this marketplace so we got involved pretty early with some of the key players in the industry,” said Steve Slesinski, director of global product planning at Dana.

Dana has built up its electrification division through its acquisitions of electric-vehicle businesses TM4 in 2018 and SME Group and Nordresa Motors Inc. in 2019.

“We brought all the pieces together because we think electrified solutions are going to continue to gain momentum, not only here, but globally,” Slesinski said.

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