Range Eyes May Debut of Its Next Electric Trailers

Serial Production Set to Start in Late 2025 or Early 2026 After Further Pilots
Range electric trailer
Range accelerates the electrification of commercial transportation via powered trailers for the heavy-duty truck market. (Range Electric)

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LAS VEGAS — Range Energy is set to introduce the next iteration of its electrified dry van trailers in May, CEO Ali Javidan said Jan. 9.

The beta version of the trailers will offer a full representation of the company’s trailers’ capabilities, Javidan told Transport Topics on the sidelines of the annual CES conference.

Range’s powered trailers are intended to reduce diesel consumption through an e-axle, battery pack and smart kingpin.

Currently, Range is offering its alpha product with surrogate motors and batteries, which do not demonstrate the trailer’s full performance, the executive said.

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Range has run two pilot programs with carriers so far. A further six trials are scheduled for the rest of 2024, said Javidan, adding that the trials last one to two weeks. Trials are conducted with partners that intend to buy trailers, he said.

Range said in November that preliminary third-party testing results showed its technology enables up to 36.9% fuel efficiency gains for semi-trucks. Testing was conducted on a 25.5-mile urban/highway loop by MVT Solutions, a subsidiary of Mesilla Valley Transportation. The truck-trailer combination was running approximately 59,000-pound GVW and was limited to top speeds of 60 mph across multiple scenarios.

Range has a manufacturing site at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. The first handful of beta trailers will be manufactured at this site.

In 2025, Range will begin a move from beta trailers to “release candidate” trailers, Javidan told TT. The trailer will be scaled up for full production in 2025.

“In 2025, the company will build 40 to 50 release candidate trailers,” Javidan said. Next year will also see the first customer deliveries for long-term testing, he said.

At the end of 2025 or the start of 2026, small series production will begin, the executive said.

Ahead of all these steps, Range is talking to three or four trailer original equipment manufacturers about further collaboration and partnerships, said Javidan, while declining to name the OEMs.

A location for future production beyond the beta models has still to be chosen, he said, adding that some of the states that Range is considering include Texas, Indiana, Arkansas, Nevada and Colorado. The choice of the site depends to some extent on logistics and the company’s initial customers, he said.

In order to finance these steps, the company’s A-round funding is set to close in the first quarter of 2024, Javidan said. The funding will be used for pilot projects, he added.

“There will be one or two more fundraising cycles before production starts in late 2025 or early 2026,” Javidan said.

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“Originally, Class 8 trailers were the ‘North Star’ for Range,” said Javidan, but over the last 18 months, Range has focused solely on Class 8 trailers, with Javidan telling TT he realized this was where the company could make more of an impact, rather than with smaller trailers.

Javidan said he wanted also to make a difference where others were not doing so. With so much of trucking’s decarbonization effort focused on the cab, the missing link was trailers, he said.

But Range’s approach to decarbonization is to make sure trucking companies do not have to uproot what they have been doing for 50 to 70 years, he said.