TransPower has been awarded a grant from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to develop an all-electric heavy-duty tractor designed primarily for use in warehouse and distribution center applications.
The electric yard tractor will replace diesel-powered vehicles that IKEA is currently using at its distribution center in Tejon, Calif., to move trailers around the facility. TransPower recently built and delivered a pair of similar vehicles to a San Antonio-based warehouse and distribution complex for testing.
The company says these Class 8 electric tractors, which are capable of hauling loads up to 80,000 pounds, have shown the ability to operate for as long as 12 hours on a single battery charge – exceptional performance for the operation of a vehicle of this type on pure battery-electric power, according to TransPower.
The company adds that a key innovation that will be demonstrated in this project is the use of on-board inverter-charger that simplifies and accelerates battery charging. By demonstrating the feasibility of using two inverter-charger units on each vehicle, charging time will be cut in half. This will enable the tractors to support operations at large distribution centers with little downtime for charging.