California-based TransPower is one of several electric powertrain manufacturers that are targeting the promising short-haul drayage market (see our recent post on Orange EV and our feature story on Balqon). TransPower’s latest electric Class 8 truck was on display at the University of California, Riverside as part of a launch event for UCR’s Sustainable Integrated Grid Initiative, a project that will research integration of EVs with renewable energy, storage and smart grid technology.
The truck being exhibited at UCR uses an International ProStar Class 8 truck body manufactured by Navistar. It is the second of eight trucks of this design that TransPower will convert to fully electric operation and place into drayage service around the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach by the end of 2014.
TransPower’s ElecTruck drive system features dual electric motors with a total of 300 kW (400 hp) of peak power, a five-speed automated manual transmission, a modular 270 kWh lithium-ion battery system, and the company’s proprietary battery management software. TransPower’s Class 8 trucks have logged over 1,000 miles of test operations, and have pulled trailers with total vehicle weights of up to 75,000 pounds.
On the 88-mile journey from company headquarters in Poway to the UCR campus in Riverside, TransPower’s new truck climbed some of the steepest grades in Southern California, achieved a top speed of 65 miles per hour, and consumed 1.3 kilowatt-hours of electricity per mile – about a quarter of the cost of using diesel fuel, according to the company.