TransPower Touts Test Results of Its Heavy-Duty EV Technologies


Transportation Power Inc. (TransPower) says independent laboratory testing at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) confirms the reliability, environmental benefits and economic advantages offered by heavy-duty trucks and tractors using the company's electric vehicle (EV) technologies.

The tests included a Class 8 on-road truck and a Class 8 off-road yard tractor using the latest version of TransPower's ElecTruck heavy-duty EV drive system. The studies were performed in September 2014, utilizing a chassis dynamometer at UCR's College of Engineering – Center for Environmental Research & Technology (CE-CERT).

‘For a truck with a half-a-million-mile operating life, the energy cost savings predicted by the CE-CERT testing would amount to $630,000 over the life of the truck,’ says Frank Falcone, TransPower's director of powertrain engineering. ‘We estimate that with maintenance savings, total lifecycle savings could exceed $700,000, and that could increase to $1 million or more with higher fuel prices.’

A Navistar International Pro-Star Class 8 truck equipped with TransPower's ElecTruck system ‘performed all tests with a high degree of reliability,’ according to an April report just released by CE-CERT. Other conclusions contained in the CE-CERT report include the following:

– The TransPower-powered truck ‘consumed only about half as much battery energy per mile’ as the most recent competing electric truck tested by CE-CERT, which was evaluated in 2011.

– Accounting for the greenhouse gases (GHGs) produced by power plants to generate the electricity used by the TransPower-powered truck, the vehicle ‘is expected to reduce GHG in typical drayage drive cycles by 67-68%.’ This represents a net reduction of more than a ton of GHG for every 1,000 miles the truck is driven, as compared with an equivalent diesel truck, says TransPower.

– TransPower's on-road truck has an equivalent energy cost of 23 cents per mile, as compared with $1.49 per mile for a typical diesel truck – an 85% reduction.

CE-CERT testing of a Kalmar Ottawa yard tractor powered by the ElecTruck system produced similar results. TransPower says the electric tractor produced about three times the emissions reductions of a comparable hybrid-electric tractor tested a few years earlier.

Furthermore, TransPower says the study showed its electric tractor has an energy cost of 31 cents per mile, compared with $1.12 per mile for an equivalent diesel yard tractor and 99 cents per mile for the latest hybrid yard tractor tested by CE-CERT.

TransPower notes these results have been confirmed by real-world operations. Since being deployed at IKEA's main California distribution center in September 2014, the TransPower electric yard tractor tested by CE-CERT has had an energy cost of 25 cents/mile when using power supplied by the utility grid. However, TransPower claims that because 90% of this tractor's energy is produced by solar arrays installed at IKEA's facility, the actual energy cost of operating this tractor has been less than 3 cents per mile.

Graph source: UC Riverside/CE-CERT dynamometer lab

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