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Video: Exploring the electrified Model 579

July 18, 2018 by John Smith

SUNNYVALE, Calif – Peterbilt has been working on electrified vehicles for decades. There was a series electric hybrid tractor unveiled in 1998, followed in later years by parallel-electric hybrids, and a parallel-hydraulic hybrid. When the Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience (WAVE) […]

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Driving Force: Axles are at the heart of an electric revolution

July 12, 2018 by John Smith

TORONTO, Ont. — We’re at the dawn of a new era in the propulsion of heavy trucks. Electric powertrains are opening new packaging and integration possibilities, including driven axles. Traditional transmissions, driveshafts, power dividers or differentials are no longer required.

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More electrification coming, but it’ll take time

May 2, 2018 by John Smith

LONG BEACH, Calif. – Commercial battery electric vehicles (CBEVs) will play an increasing role in moving freight, but mixed fleets will likely be the norm through 2050, the North American Council for Freight Efficiency concludes.

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Context: Understanding electric trucks

January 16, 2018 by Jim Park

Electric trucks seem to be all the rage today, just as natural gas was to be the industry’s salvation just a few years back. There’s not much excitement in natural gas today, though it remains a viable alternative fuel. Electric trucks, on the other hand, are just beginning their climb to prominence. Interest in electric trucks peaked in November with the world’s first look at Tesla’s Electric Semi. Whether Tesla can carry the torch for battery-powered heavy trucks remains to be seen, but Elon Musk isn’t only player in the market.
Transpower’s electric Class 8 tractor uses a conventional drivetrain, but with a 400-horsepower electric motor. It has a range of up to 160 kilometers at full load.
I drove a fully electric plug-in Transpower USA Class 8 tractor back in 2015. That truck had been in field tests at the port of Long Beach, California, for two years prior to that. The company made headlines recently announcing a partnership with Meritor that will make its technology commercially available in the spring of this year.