Efficient Drivetrains Reveals Industry-First Electric Class-4 Agricultural Vehicle

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The medium- and heavy-duty plug-in electric drivetrain firm Efficient Drivetrains Inc. (EDI) has revealed the industry’s first Class-4 electrified agricultural work truck.

To be more specific, EDI announced that it has successfully integrated its EDI PowerDrive 4000 plug-in hybrid powertrain with an A-1 CNG Frame-Mount natural gas system in a GM Class-4 agricultural work truck. The work truck in question is part of GM’s Low Cab Forward platform.

So, to summarize, the new EDI modified vehicles can run on either stored battery power or compressed natural gas — both of which are responsible for much less pollution than diesel vehicles. Previous to this application, there have been nearly no options out there for those wishing to transition their agricultural work vehicles to electric powertrains.

A press release on the matter provides more: “The truck will be operated in San Joaquin Valley, a 250-mile-long region susceptible to air pollution due to its bordering mountain ranges. … While in operation in San Joaquin Valley, the new vehicle provides 40+ miles of all electric, zero-emissions driving, and range extension utilizing cleaner-burning compressed natural gas, resulting in a significant elimination of particulate matter that its traditional diesel counterparts expel. Vehicle operators will experience the expected full power OEM truck performance without change to driver behavior, with the added benefit of zero-emissions driving, cleaner air for their workforce, and the surrounding community, and significantly reduced fuel costs.”

The CEO of EDI, Joerg Ferchau, commented on the news: “Collectively, the agriculture industry in California is working proactively to improve air quality and exposure to particulate pollution from traditional diesel-based vehicles, and EDI is proud to contribute to this important initiative. Our technology collaboration with A-1 Alternative Fuel Systems, combines the value of electricity with cleaner burning natural gas, delivering a full-powered, zero-emission capable truck, on a vehicle platform commonly utilized by the agriculture industry. We’re looking forward to continuing to develop commercially available electrified options for the agriculture industry at large.”

If you’re looking for more information about EDI, and/or about the other medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicle options out there, check out: “Electric Semi Trucks & Heavy-Duty Trucks — Available Models & Planned Models (In-Depth List).”

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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