Ports help drive demand for low emission trucks

Kalmar electric terminal tractors are powered with a Transpower electric drive system Photo: Kalmar Kalmar electric terminal tractors are powered with a Transpower electric drive system Photo: Kalmar
Industry Database

The drive to reduce emissions in North America is increasing demand for electric trucks, say the electric vehicle technology specialists.

Meritor Inc and TransPower are the latest companies to partner up in a bid to provide electrical vehicle technologies which could hit the market as soon as spring 2018.

The feeling is that electric power seems to be the best long-term solution for short run vehicles like bus and port operations that return to base overnight for charging.

Meritor is working with six truck manufacturers to develop electric commercial vehicles, including Kalmar terminal tractors, which are powered by Transpower electric drive systems.

It’s also partnering with Nikola Motor Co in relation to beginning field tests of its hydrogen-electric truck, the Nikola One, in late 2018, for which Meritor developed the suspension system.

Growing demand

Ports including the Los Angeles and Long Beach on the US west coast have the goal of transitioning to a zero-emission on-road drayage fleet by 2035, and this is driving demand for zero emissions vehicles.

There’s plenty of competition out there on the market now. Tesla Inc unveiled its Semi Class 8 electric truck in November. Cummins Inc and Daimler Trucks have both introduced all-electric truck prototypes and electric bus maker Proterra said it intends to branch into the area.

In addition, the car manufacturers are also looking into breaking into the market with Volkswagen planning to roll out electric trucks and buses and Toyota currently testing a Class 8 fuel-cell electric drayage truck.

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