Today's Trucking

opinions

Perspective, People: The onslaught of new technology is fascinating, but who really cares?

January 9, 2018 by Rolf Lockwood

Amidst the astonishing flood of electric this and autonomous that lately, I wonder who actually wants any of this stuff. I mean out there in the land of real trucking, not in the offices of mega-fleets with the means to […]

news

Mack tests truck by wires using eHighway

December 11, 2017 by John Smith

GREENSBORO, NC – Mack has added to the growing list of electrified truck prototypes, showcasing a plug-in hybrid electric driveline as part of a zero-emission eHighway demonstration in Carson, California.
The Pinnacle day cab drew power from Siemens-produced eHighway infrastructure, which came in the form of a mile of catenary systems — similar to those used to power trolleys or streetcars. Energy was transferred through a “current collector” from Siemens.
The demonstration near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach was in partnership with Siemens, sponsored by the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
“Mack continuously investigates alternative solutions to diesel, and the catenary system is just one of a number of projects in which we are currently involved,” said Jonathan Randall, Mack’s senior vice president – North American sales.
The manufacturer has explored several ways to reduce Greenhouse Gases, using everything from plug-in hybrid electric powertrains to alternative fuels such as dimethyl ether (DME).

news

Path to electrification not straight to linehaul: Mack

December 4, 2017 by John Smith

OAKLAND, CA – Mack Trucks continues to see a healthy future for diesel engines, even as alternatives like electrification begin to emerge.
“Diesel today, it’s performing extremely well. It’s cleaner than it’s ever been, it’s robust, it’s versatile,” said Roy Horton, director – product strategy, during a briefing in Oakland, California. As for talk about electric trucks? “It’s almost a little bit of an uphill battle there.”
Electrification is “on the bubble, and it’s something everyone is looking at,” he said, admitting that the recent unveiling of Elon Musk’s Tesla Semi attracted attention. “It’s definitely going to be part of our future.” Just not for longhaul. Not right away.
Mack believes the earliest adopters of electrification will be operations with the chance to charge at a home base and not depend on general infrastructure for fuel. That includes refuse, local delivery, and public transportation fleets.

opinions

Musk Matters: Tesla Semi light on details, but is sparking conversations

November 25, 2017 by John Smith

The recent reveal of the Tesla Semi was like none other – and not simply because it offered the first look at a prototype of the company’s electric Class 8 truck. If anything, there were still plenty of unanswered questions once the lights dimmed and fog machines were stowed away.

products

Tesla rolls ahead with Class 8

November 21, 2017 by John Smith

HAWTHORNE, CA – Elon Musk has officially unveiled the all-electric Class 8 Tesla Semi, following months of speculation and delays. Now the question is whether his company will become the industry disruptor it wants to be.
A pair of prototype day cabs unveiled in California on Thursday featured a streamlined bullet-like design, evoking a look traditionally left to concept vehicles. And there were plenty of world media representatives there to share in the experience, each shepherded into a secure hanger for a brief peek.
Just a day before, Musk went so far as to tweet this truck “can transform into a robot, fight aliens, and make one hell of a latte”. Yes, it was hyperbole – there was no cappuccino machine anywhere — but the Chief Executive Officer and product architect attracted plenty of attention for his latest announcement. More than 1,000 people were on hand for the launch, cheering every point that Musk made, especially when a new roadster rolled out of the back of the trailer.

news

Tesla rolls ahead with Class 8

November 21, 2017 by John Smith

HAWTHORNE, CA – Elon Musk has officially unveiled the all-electric Class 8 Tesla Semi, following months of speculation and delays. Now the question is whether his company will become the industry disruptor it wants to be.
A pair of prototype day cabs unveiled in California on Thursday featured a streamlined bullet-like design, evoking a look traditionally left to concept vehicles. And there were plenty of world media representatives there to share in the experience, each shepherded into a secure hanger for a brief peek.
Just a day before, Musk went so far as to tweet this truck “can transform into a robot, fight aliens, and make one hell of a latte”. Yes, it was hyperbole – there was no cappuccino machine anywhere — but the Chief Executive Officer and product architect attracted plenty of attention for his latest announcement. More than 1,000 people were on hand for the launch, cheering every point that Musk made, especially when a new roadster rolled out of the back of the trailer.

news

Chanje electric vans unveiled in U.S.

November 6, 2017 by John Smith

BROOKLYN, NY – Chanje is here.
The Chinese-based vehicle manufacturer (pronounced “change”) has officially unveiled its electric medium-duty panel van in Brooklyn, New York, with Ryder taking delivery of 125 units for its rental and leasing fleet.
The initial rollout will be in key California markets including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego, as well as New York and Chicago. Ryder will provide parts distribution, service and support.
“All the trends in diesel are going in the wrong direction,” said Chanje Chief Executive Officer Bryan Hansel, noting that diesel equipment is increasingly expensive to build, purchase, and maintain.
China’s demand for electric vehicles is expected to outpace North America’s needs in coming years, but the U.S. market sets the highest bar for vehicle reliability and safety, and it is home to some of the largest delivery companies and consumer brands expected to use the vehicles, Hansel says. This is being developed as a “world” truck for markets here and elsewhere, and the company says it has invested about US $1 billion in the design and related tooling.
But Canada’s official rollout has to wait for now.
“It’s demand-driven. We’re certainly going to be inquiring to see the uptake opportunity,” Hansel said, referring to Canada as a parallel market to the U.S. “It seems like a natural progression.”

products

Motor/generator and inverter

October 17, 2017 by John Smith

The Sumo HP HV900 is a new motor/generator and inverter offers 190 kilowatts of continuous power and 675 lb-ft of torque in a package that’s only 200 millimeters long.

opinions

Electric Dreams: Are engineers dreaming of electric sheep?

October 17, 2017 by John Smith

Elon Musk’s dream of an electric semi has yet to become a reality. A rollout that was first expected to take place in September has been pushed back to November, while Tesla looks to address production delays with its Model 3 cars.

news

Cummins acquires battery company

October 17, 2017 by John Smith

COLUMBUS, IN – Cummins’ commitment to electrified vehicles has taken yet another step, with the company acquiring the assets of Brammo, which designs and develops battery packs for mobile and stationary applications.

news

Meritor CEO predicts more electrification

September 29, 2017 by John Smith

ATLANTA, GA — “There is a sea change in our industry with regard to electrification of the drivetrain,” said Jay Craig, CEO of Meritor, at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show. The actual percentage of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles that will be fully electric or hybrid electric by 2025, he said, is not as important as the surety that the number will be more than it is today.

news

Navistar, VW promise electric powertrain

September 28, 2017 by John Smith

ATLANTA, GA – Navistar will bring a medium-duty electric powertrain to the North American marketplace by 2019/20, drawing on technical expertise available through Volkswagen Truck and Bus.
“There is an opportunity for electric and electric vehicles in the North American market,” said Troy Clarke, chairman, president, and Chief Executive Officer, referring specifically to the Class 6/7 segment. “It is still in the early stages of the product development cycle there, but that’s the target.”
Volkswagen officially secured a 16.6% stake in the company in March, and is already expected to bring a big bore diesel powertrain to North America by 2021 in addition to sharing other technologies.
It won’t be Navistar’s first foray into electric vehicles. The company launched its Class 3 eStar van several years ago, but that model was ahead of its time, Clarke said in a presentation during the North American Commercial Vehicle Show. MAN, a European nameplate owned by Volkswagen, recently released an electric truck of its own in the form of the eTruck.

news

Bosch envisions digital, electric future

September 27, 2017 by John Smith

ATLANTA, GA – Imagine trucks without mirrors or internal combustion engines, relying instead on video monitors and electric power. It’s exactly what Bosch engineers are helping to develop.

news

Cummins commits to electrification and more

June 19, 2017 by John Smith

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Cummins is pledging to launch a fully electrified powertrain in 2019, and a range-extended electric powertrain in 2020. But senior executives stress that these rollouts will be for urban transit vehicles, and that electrified long-haul trucks are still years from reality.

“We are not just a diesel engine company,” proclaimed Chief Executive Officer Tom Linebarger, during a Wednesday conference call. “Technology is what we do. Innovation is what we do.”

An internal electrification business group is combining Cummins expertise with selected partners, as they collectively develop power storage, related electronics, and traction motors.

news

Eaton predicts electrified future

February 27, 2017 by John Smith

NASHVILLE, TN – Eaton’s Technology Innovation Center has looked into the future and believes it’s electrifying.