Kenworth, Dana Collaborate on Electric Truck Development


Kenworth and Dana Inc. say they are collaborating on electric powertrain development for medium-duty Kenworth battery EVs. 

The zero-emissions Kenworth K270E cab-over truck is equipped with a Dana-designed e-powertrain system that is fully integrated and compatible with the Kenworth chassis.  Configured as a direct-drive system, the vehicle utilizes a Spicer Electrified e-propulsion system and a standard Dana drive axle and driveshaft.  

Dana also supplies an e-power system, which generates, stores and manages the energy for the vehicle and consists of electrified auxiliary systems, an on-board charger and two battery packs. Dana-developed software and controls enable the diagnostics and telemetry of the complete system.

The electric powertrain will be available with range options between 100 and 200 miles. Using the vehicles’ DC fast-charging system, the high-energy density battery packs can recharge in about an hour, making both the Class 6 Kenworth K270E and Class 7 K370E cab-overs ideal for local pickup and delivery, as well as short regional-haul operations.

“This is an important next step in our evolution of an electric powertrain,” says Kevin Baney, general manager of Kenworth and vice president of PACCAR. “Kenworth plans to produce up to 100 medium-duty cab-over electric trucks in 2020.”

Kenworth is also developing a Level 4 autonomous Kenworth T680. The concept truck was constructed at the PACCAR Innovation Center. PACCAR has worked with experts in the field of high-definition mapping, localization, perception and path-planning to deliver an integrated autonomous solution. 

The special Kenworth T680 is equipped with cameras, LiDAR (light detection and ranging) sensors and radars to sense the surrounding road environment and to feed fusion algorithms in the perception stack for object identification and tracking.

Mechanical modifications to the Kenworth T680 include a redundant steering torque overlay system, upgraded high-capacity alternators, a high-fidelity electronically controlled air-braking system and the addition of rear seats in the sleeper structure.

“Kenworth and the PACCAR Innovation Center in Silicon Valley are working closely together to explore and develop the latest advanced-driver assistance systems and other new technologies that offer safety and efficiency benefits for truck fleets and drivers,” says Patrick Dean, chief engineer at Kenworth.  “The Level 4 Autonomous Kenworth T680 is a perfect platform to study this technology in real-world applications.”

Photo: Kenworth T680

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