XL Fleet Corp., a provider of vehicle electrification solutions for commercial and municipal fleets, has announced a new partnership with eNow Inc. to electrify refrigerated trailers.
XL secured a battery and power electronics development and supply agreement with eNow, which provides solar and battery power systems that enable fully electric transport refrigeration units (eTRUs) for Class 8 commercial trailers. Under the terms of the agreement, XL Fleet will supply battery and power electronics systems for the first 1,000 units of eNow’s new electrified refrigerated trailer solutions.
eNow has developed mobile solar battery charging systems for the commercial fleet market since 2011. eNow’s patented solar systems capture the sun’s energy with roof-mounted modules and then store the energy in auxiliary batteries used to power lift gates, in-cab HVAC, refrigeration, telematics and other loads, such as appliances and lighting.
XL Fleet’s partnership with eNow accelerates and expands the company’s existing market opportunity into Class 8 trailers. Each conventional diesel power refrigerated trailer can use as much diesel as a delivery truck uses in a day, so there are significant opportunities for diesel and emissions savings with electrified refrigerated trailers, the company says. Additionally, the partnership provides potential cross-selling opportunities for XL Fleet’s integrated solutions offering, including electrified powertrains and XL Grid charging infrastructure.
Under the partnership, XL Fleet is developing the high-capacity integrated lithium-ion battery and power electronics technology that will be installed underfloor on the Class 8 trailer, providing approximately 12 hours or more of run time between charges. eNow will integrate this system into its architecture, including the solar panels. Currently available 480V three-phase shore power will be used for charging the batteries and powering the eTRU when idle or during loading and unloading of the trailer. The system will also be equipped with a thermal management system to enable year-round operation across North America.
XL Fleet and eNow expect to deliver initial eTRUs beginning in the first half of 2022 to customers in industries including food, retail, manufacturing and distribution.
Concurrent with the agreement, XL Fleet has invested $3 million in convertible notes in eNow. Additionally, XL Fleet has the right to acquire eNow at a pre-determined valuation.
“Our partnership and associated investment is consistent with our fleet electrification strategy and provides us with efficient access to a large market with significant growth potential, while opening new doors for additional opportunities to provide our integrated fleet electrification and XL Grid solutions to Class 8 fleets,” comments Tod Hynes, founder and president of XL Fleet.
“XL Fleet’s mission to help corporations and their fleets lower operating costs while supporting sustainability goals aligns closely with ours,” adds Jeff Flath, president and CEO of eNow. “This partnership will change the way the transportation industry thinks about energy and refrigerated transportation, as together we will offer the most advanced renewable power systems for reefer trailers, coupled with charging infrastructure, to eliminate a major source of diesel fuel consumption and emissions for fleets.”