Poway, CA – (July 9, 2013) – TransPower, an advanced clean energy technology company, announced today that it has received final funding commitments totaling $3.7 million from several public agencies in support of a demonstration of advanced electric Class 8 drayage trucks at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Deploying advanced, zero-emission technology is a critical component in the Ports’ on-going effort to tackle air pollution in Southern California.
This funding will enable TransPower to build a fleet of seven battery-electric trucks using its “ElecTruck™” drive system, which utilizes electric motors to propel large tractor-trailer rigs, relying solely on energy supplied by large battery packs. The trucks will operate cleanly and quietly, plugging into the electric power grid to recharge their batteries. Funding for the project comes from three sources: the California Energy Commission in a grant administered by CALSTART ($2.3M), a U.S. Department of Energy grant administered by the South Coast Air Quality Management District ($1.1M) , and a “Technology Advancement Program” (TAP) grant from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach ($0.3M). The TAP grant, the last increment of funding for this project, was formally approved on June 25, 2013.
The seven trucks, all scheduled to deploy by 2014, will transport cargo containers between the L.A./Long Beach port complex and local rail yards and distribution centers. Short-haul movement of cargo containers, also known as “drayage,” creates a substantial amount of air pollution in the vicinity of the L.A./Long Beach ports and other seaports. TransPower’s electric trucks will help mitigate this problem by completely eliminating combustion engines and fuel systems from these vehicles. Utilizing advanced batteries and high efficiency components, the trucks are expected to operate for up to 100 miles on a single battery charge and recharge in three hours or less, while handling gross vehicle weight loads of up to 80,000 pounds.
In addition to eliminating pollution and carbon emissions, each electric truck can save its operator up to $50,000 a year in fuel costs, according to TransPower CEO, Mike Simon. “These trucks will cost more to build than conventional diesel trucks, but with fuel and other savings, they should recover their additional capital costs within 4-7 years,” Simon stated.
Key innovations that TransPower believes will make these trucks practical and economical to operate include the use of vehicle-mounted “inverter-charger units” that enable fast battery charging without external charging devices, an “automated manual transmission” that provides high performance in various operating modes while minimizing energy consumption, and a flexible control architecture that will simplify and accelerate adaptation of the “ElecTruck™” drive system to many different truck models. The truck model to be used in this “Electric Drayage Demonstration” (EDD) project is the International ProStar® manufactured by Navistar, a partner with TransPower in development of electric truck technologies since 2011.
Total Transportation Services, Inc., a leading drayage firm, has already committed to enter TransPower EDD trucks into its fleet, and will assist the Department of Energy and CALSTART in collecting data that will be used to further refine the “ElecTruck™” drive system, helping to set the stage for large-scale commercial manufacturing and sales of electric Class 8 trucks.
Prior to deploying the seven electric “EDD” trucks, TransPower will validate the ElecTruck™ drive system by testing a “Pilot Truck,” currently being built using the identical ProStar®-ElecTruck™ configuration. Funded via separate grants from the California Energy Commission and South Coast Air Quality Management District, the Pilot Truck will be completed within the next few weeks and unveiled to the public and fleet operators late this summer.
Transportation Power, Inc., doing business as TransPower, is a privately-held California company that develops and provides clean power generation and conversion technologies and products. TransPower has developed a proprietary “ElecTruck™” integrated electric drive system for large trucks, tractors, and buses. TransPower is also developing its “Grid-Saver” fast energy storage system, designed to maximize commonality with TransPower’s electric vehicle products, including lithium battery modules, battery management systems, and energy management technology. In addition, TransPower is developing drive products using state of the art hybrid-electric propulsion systems.
Copyright (c) 2013 TransPower. All rights reserved.