Automotive manufacturer Harbinger has unveiled a new medium-duty electric vehicle (EV) platform. Harbinger’s initial product line will include electric stripped chassis and cab chassis designed specifically to address the performance, durability and lifespan expectations required in Class 4 to Class 7 vehicles.
“Medium-duty vehicles serve as the backbone of the commercial transportation industry and are responsible for delivering tens of millions of packages and critical services every day,” says John Harris, CEO of Harbinger. “But while this industry has experienced tremendous growth, fleet customers today face acute shortages of gas- and diesel-powered vehicles, and any meaningful supply of production-ready EV offerings is still years out. We are solving this problem head on.”
Production for Harbinger electric platforms is projected to scale significantly over the next five years, with first vehicles expected in customers’ hands in late 2023, followed by the launch of volume production in 2024.
Harbinger’s EV solutions feature a proprietary eAxle which combines the motor, inverter and gearbox into an integrated unit. This approach improves energy efficiency, lowers cost and brings critical safety improvements by enabling the battery systems to be positioned entirely inside the frame. A liquid-cooled battery pack is engineered for superior performance, lower cost and a supplier-agnostic sourcing strategy. The pack design also takes advantage of casting technology to provide improved battery durability, safety and lifespan.
A new driver-focused chassis architecture is designed to improve safety, driver experience and productivity through drive-by-wire steering and enhancements to vehicle ergonomics. In addition, a novel front suspension reduces vehicle overhang, improving driver visibility and vehicle maneuverability.
Harbinger’s medium-duty EV includes a 800V liquid cooled battery system, with capacity scalable in 35 kWh increments; a floor height below 28 inches; design for 20-year, 450,000-mile standard operating life; independent front suspension with rack-type steering; autonomous-ready with steer-by-wire and brake-by-wire; and one-hour DC fast charging capability.
“This industry is performing on decades-old technology that makes its daily rigors nearly unbearable for drivers and concentrates emissions of harmful pollutants in highly populated, residential, and business areas where they most acutely affect human health. We can no longer sit idle and watch that happen,” adds Harris. “The reality is that technologies developed for the passenger or heavy-duty vehicle industries simply cannot be repurposed for the medium-duty segment.”
“Better technology often comes with outrageous price tags, and we’re seeing today’s medium-duty EVs performing for half the life of today’s ICE vehicles at triple the cost,” continues Harris. “Our technology was developed from scratch in order to control top level chassis cost.”
“The cost effectiveness of the platform is a baseline, not a sacrifice,” concludes Harris. “Our platform will offer an enhanced level of efficiency, durability, safety, and performance over our competition and can be sold at a better price point because of our advantages of in-house component design and vertically integrated approach. This is how EVs should be built.”