'Overnight charging appears to be old hat now'
Is everybody going electric?
Nov 25, 2017 Rolf Lockwood
Surprise! Cummins goes electric
So last week I spent an illuminating day at the annual Cetaris user group
meeting here in Toronto, in the company of some very big names in the North
American fleet world. Kindly invited by the company's founder and president,
Ric Bedard, I undertook to attend not as a reporter but as an observer. Thus
I'm honour-bound to maintain the privacy of attendees by not identifying
them or divulging what they said.
For those of you who don't know, Cetaris developed many years ago an
asset-management software system that focuses on maintenance, parts
inventory, and especially warranty control ... Its customers include some of
the continent's biggest and best fleets, both private and for-hire, the
majority based in the U.S. ...
But that's not what I'm writing about here.
The point is that these user-group people, all of them in charge of buying
and managing trucks and trailers and other equipment, were talking about
electric vehicles -- note, not autonomous vehicles -- in the informal
moments of the day.
In fact, and I think I'm safe in identifying this man, Wayne Scott brought a
plug-in electric BYD tractor along to show the other very intrigued
attendees. Scott is senior director, transport maintenance, at Loblaw
Companies Limited, and the company announced just a few days earlier the
commitment to completely electrify its fleet of trucks as part of a goal to
cut carbon emissions by 30% as of 2030.
THE BYD T9 CLASS-8 TRACTOR that the company showed off at the press
conference launch in Vancouver was the same one we saw in Toronto. It has a
maximum GCW of 120,000 lb and a range of 92 miles or about 150 km. A
lithium-ion battery recharges in just 2.5 hours, which seems to be more or
less the new norm. Overnight charging appears to be old hat now.
At 23,589 lb, or 10,700 kg, it's no lightweight, and it's good for a top
speed of only 56 mph or 90 clicks. Not a problem, as this isn't meant to be
a highway cruiser. It's an urban/suburban tractor. Gradeability is a
commendable 20%. It sports leaf springs in stock trim.
China's BYD, which is predominantly a battery maker that turned its
attention to building cars, buses, and trucks well, says its batteries will
still have 80% strength of charge after 5000 cycles or 14 years if cycled
The company also claims substantial fuel savings -- like about US$10,000 a
year assuming 75 miles per day and 7 days per week, though it doesn't
specify fuel price in that calculation. Maintenance savings are a little
more readily understood, namely a claimed US$4500 annually because of fewer
moving parts, less brake wear, and fewer fluids to change.
The truck is manufactured in a Lancaster, CA facility, but I understand an
assembly plant using knock-down kits might possibly be built in Montreal ...
THE UPS ELECTRIC RETROFIT. Always adventuresome, and having the wherewithal
to be that way, UPS is working with the New York State Energy Research and
Development Authority (NYSERDA) to convert UPS package delivery vehicles
from diesel to electric. UPS and Unique Electric Solutions (UES) will
design, build, test and make the conversions. The project supports Governor
Andrew M. Cuomo’s aggressive goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40% by
2030 by replacing diesel vehicles with clean technology.
“Public-private partnerships help push innovation forward and transform
industries,” said Carlton Rose, UPS president, global fleet maintenance and
engineering. “This program will help UPS develop and deploy electric
delivery trucks faster and more affordably. Because they are cleaner and
quieter, electric vehicles are ideal for dense urban environments like New
York City and are a critical part of our strategy for the future.”
NYSERDA is providing $500,000 in funding to develop and test the conversion
system. If successful, the Bronx-based project is expected to bring a
production version of the converted truck to the streets of New York City by
next spring. As well as producing a cost-effective all-electric conversion
kit, the project will deliver a blueprint for converting up to three UPS
vehicles a day. This could lead to the conversion of up to 1500 UPS delivery
trucks by 2022, which is about 66% of the company’s NYC.
The UES conversion's core system features a 225kW 'Switched Reluctance
Motor' (SRM) with a high-voltage backbone optimized for the duty cycle of
UPS delivery trucks. SRMs are simpler, cheaper and better suited for
electric vehicles over conventional induction motors and do not rely on the
use of magnets made from imported rare earth metals like permanent magnet
motors do. Overall, the UES SRM propulsion system is claimed to provide more
miles per battery charge, reducing charging times and increasing energy
efficiency up to 20%.
UPS already operates more than 770 electric or hybrid electric vehicles in
urban settings around the world. The company has invested more than $750
million in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and fueling
stations globally since 2009.
STILL WITH UPS RETROFITS, the company has just announced that it's equipping
more than 5700 of its existing class 8 tractors with advanced collision
mitigation technology that can alert drivers to moving and stationary
objects around the vehicle. It announced in 2015 that all new trucks
acquired would come optioned this way.
This will cover more than 60% of UPS’s tractor fleet, more than 11,000 of
them, giving drivers blind-spot warnings, lane-departure alerts, electronic
stability control, and forward collision warning with automatic brake
With the adaptive cruise control turned on, the UPS tractor will
automatically slow to help the driver mitigate a collision. Secondary
benefits can include reducing the "accordion effect" caused by traffic and
improving fuel economy. The UPS tractors that will receive the new systems
were selected based on the collision mitigation system’s compatibility with
the vehicles’ powertrain and existing safety systems.
AND BACK TO ELECTRIC VEHICLES, now we have one called Jouley. Thomas Built
Buses, part of the Daimler Trucks North America family, has launched the new
Saf-T-Liner C2 all-electric school bus. It's said to have the same
performance, safety, and comfort as the Saf-T-Liner C2, but it offers quiet
operation, zero emissions, and even exportable power. In this capacity,
students will be able to charge their computers and other devices directly
from the bus.
“Jouley is named after the joule unit of energy,” said Caley Edgerly,
president and CEO of Thomas Built Buses.
The first generation Saf-T-Liner C2 electric bus comes equipped with the
PowerDrive 7000ev powertrain from Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. (EDI), which
provides 100-160kWh of battery energy and an operating range up to 100 miles
between charges, with an option for a higher range with additional battery
packs. Among its features is the PowerSuite vehicle control software and the
PowerTracker telematics and diagnostics system that tracks bus location and
provides real-time monitoring of potential issues.
The Saf-T-Liner C2 Electric is slated to be in early production in 2019.
ONE LAST ELECTRIC TALE also comes out of New York City, where another
Chinese vehicle manufacturer recently unveiled its electric medium-duty
panel van in Brooklyn. Chanje is the somewhat odd company name (pronounced
'change') but things are starting well, with Ryder taking delivery of 125
units for its rental and leasing fleet. My colleague John G. Smith was on
hand for the launch.
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. Canada will come along
eventually, the company says.
“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, writes John G., but the U.S. market sets the highest
bar for vehicle reliability and safety, and it's 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 and the company says it has
invested about US$1 billion in its development.
The V8070 van will hold a 6000-lb payload in its 580-cubic-foot cargo bay.
The turning radius is a tight 25 feet. The torque delivered through the pair
of rear electric motors offers impressive 30% gradeability.
“When you’re driving this, it feels like you’re driving a minivan,” Hansel
said. “These were designed for an urban environment. You need to be able to
drive them, you need to be able to park them, you need to be able to
Meanwhile, the van promises a 160-kilometer range, depending on the
application, and its efficiency is said to be the equivalent of 4.7 liters
per 100 kilometers. That’s based on an average payload of 50% through the
Hansel, not incidentally, founded Smith Electric in 2009 and launched a
commercial electric truck in 2010, but that was a retrofit. Chanje offers a
purpose-built platform, engineered as an electric vehicle. And that’s
presented as an important distinction.
As for cost, he said that Chanje offers price parity when comparing lease
costs, maintenance, and fuel. “The net number at the end of the month will
be net-even cash flow.”
Chanje manufacturing is based in China, but final assembly in North America
is coming, with a planned capacity of 10,000 to 20,000 vans. The search for
a location to house that work is focusing around ports and is expected in
Ryder’s involvement has been a “cornerstone” of the company’s rollout
strategy, Hansel stressed, referring to the distribution model. It gives
users the confidence that, should something need to be repaired, the work
can be completed nearby. “You need to be able to drive down the street and
get it fixed.”
Ryder trainers have already been studying the equipment, and are now
preparing technicians in the key markets. The first graduated just weeks
ago. And about 200 unique replacement parts are also being stocked in
AND ON TO AUTONOMY, recent news being that the Government of Ontario has
signaled it’s serious about ushering self-driving vehicles, including those
in commercial fleets, into the province ...
[© 2017 Newcom Business Media]
EVLN: BYD Opening Electric Truck Factory In Canada
Nov 22 2017
EVLN: NYC UPS truck conversions using 225kW Switched Reluctance e-Motors
Nov 14 2017
EVLN: Electric School Buses> same performance, safety& comfort but breathes
Nov 09 2017
More Chanje on the evdl
...-maker BYD also offers a Class 8 semi truck for on-road use. The BYD T9
has a 188 kWh battery pack, and a stated range of 92 miles. Andy Swanton,
Vice President of BYD’s Truck division, told Trucks.com that medium- and
heavy-duty electric trucks make up an increasing part of BYD’s commercial
Jun 06 2017
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