Good News About Electric Trucks Coming From Oregon & Switzerland

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Electric trucks are coming. We know the Tesla Semi is nearing production, but Tesla is not the only company working to bring electric trucks to market. For generations, diesel engines have ruled the heavy truck market but their emissions pose serious health risks to humans. Electric trucks can do everything diesel trucks can do but better and they don’t fill the air with carbon emissions or fine particulate matter.

Daimler Converting Truck Factory In Oregon

Daimler eCascadia electric truck
Credit: Daimler

“The road to emissions-free transportation is going to be driven with battery-electric vehicles. I believe the future is electric,” Roger Nielsen, head of Daimler Trucks for North America said a trade event recently. He said Daimler will have nearly 50 battery electric test trucks on US roads by the end of the year.

The company announced last week it is converting its Freightliner truck factory in Portland, Oregon to make electric trucks and expects to begin production at that location in 2021. Daimler will install a battery storage unit at the factory as part of the conversion process. It will also house the company’s autonomous truck development programs, according to Oregon Live. Daimler says it will collaborate with customers to integrate electric trucks into their existing fleets.

Portland offers close proximity to neighboring California where demand for zero emissions vehicles is the highest in America. Daimler will work closely with its customers to help them integrate electric trucks into their existing fleets. Daimler says its electric trucks will have a range of up to 250 miles and will be capable of recharging to 80% of capacity in 90 minutes.

ABB Shows Off Electric Trucks In Switzerland

ABB Electric Truck
Credit: ABB

Also last week, Swiss company ABB presented its first electric truck, a three axle model developed jointly with E-Force One. It is expected to be available to customers by the end of 2022, according to Electrive. ABB says it expects to have a development fleet of 10 electric trucks on the road soon. The Swiss company is responsible for the electric motor, inverter, traction control systems, and battery components of the trucks.

ABB’s electric trucks will have a range of 300 to 500 kilometers. ABB Terra 54 fast chargers will be used to recharge the vehicles. E-Force One will begin by modifying existing trucks according to the longest distance it has to travel, what charging equipment is available along its intended route, and the terrain along the way. For ABB, its longest scheduled route is 235 kilometers, which is well within the range of trucks with the standard battery.

Morten Wierod, President of ABB’s Motion business, says “the new powertrain for trucks is a significant piece of e-mobility technology for heavy vehicles. It shows our advancement in developing technologies that are more energy efficient with a lower-carbon output. We will also be using the E-truck in our daily business operations.”

ABB competes in Formula E. The first mission for its newest e-truck was to deliver the team’s race car to Berne, Switzerland for last weekend’s Formula E race.

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Steve Hanley

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new."

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