Electric Trucks, the Reo and Foton, plus Tatra
There was plenty to see at the Brisbane Truck Show this year including electric trucks, the Reo and Foton, plus Tatra.
After making a number of successful deals in the US, SEA Electric was back on home turf at the BTS showing off its 100 per cent electric vehicles including a garbage compactor, as well as an Isuzu display model, demonstrating the driveline components in the engine bay and between the chassis rails. More of SEA Electric’s work could be found at the Isuzu stand further down the hall, as part of the company’s collaboration with Isuzu in Australia.
SEA Electric may have been one of the first entities to show electric trucks here in Australia, but this time around was joined by several others drivetrains using electricity as a power source, dotted around a number of exhibits. This included Dana, who have entered a licensing agreement with SEA, but also Fuso, Cummins, Meritor.
The number of displays including the electric power theme reflects the high level of interest in electric power in the trucking community and should enable technology developers to invest further in the new driveline options.
The Foton trucks introduced to the market earlier this year made their first appearance at BTS since the company relaunched as a factory-owned importer of Chinese trucks.
Tatra has been long known as an importer of heavy duty all wheel drive trucks with an innovative chassis design developed to enable the heavy duty trucks to access any ground conditions. The brand has recently moved to using cabins sourced from the Paccar organisation, DAF cabins. The next stage in the company’s development will be to introduce some lighter models aimed at more general applications where all wheel drive is necessary in different industries around Australia.
After being unveiled at last year’s Megatrans exhibition in Melbourne, the Diamond Reo truck range appeared in its reincarnated form at the BTS for the first time. Ivan Vodanovich was assembling Diamond Reo trucks in Melbourne in the 80s and has now been involved in reviving the brand based on the China-sourced SAIC truck range.
Four examples were on display at this year’s BTS an 8×4 rigid and a 6×4 prime mover using the same shape as the models displayed in 2018. The novelties were a new a prime mover, which bears an uncanny resemblance to the MAN cabins of the past, and there was also a smaller 4×2 model, set up as a local delivery truck on display.
Article featured by Diesel Magazine, 27th June 2019, http://www.dieselnews.com.au/electric-trucks-the-reo-and-foton-plus-tatra/
EV Talk NZ interview Stephen Fairweather, our NZ General Manager, about electric trucks being assembled in New Zealand by SEA Electric.
“Kiwi-Build for EV Trucks”, pg 11 & 12 of EV Talk June 2019 READ MORE
Electric trucks are being assembled in New Zealand. Moreover, they have been successful on the road for some time. Absorb that for a moment. In fairness, they are being finished in New Zealand,
under the auspices of an Australian company, with batteries from China and motors from Canada. Still, trucks that would otherwise be spewing diesel fumes on our road are instead silently
getting around on electricity.
The trucks, and soon to come vans, are the work of Melbourne-based SEA Electric. The company has quickly developed a strong reputation for developing electric-propulsion drivetrains for a range of common truck platforms – to the point where they developed Isuzu Australia’s electric truck concepts.
General manager for SEA Electric New Zealand, Stephen Fairweather, is now leading the expansion of the brand within New Zealand – where it is finding a ready market.
“We have got a lot of vehicles in the pipeline at the moment,” Fairweather explains. “Currently there are seven vehicles already on the road. Four of them were locally built in Auckland. Others being built are all sorts for various markets.”
Councils are finding electric propulsion to be a boon for the relatively short, stop-start trips that kind of vehicle endures. The locally assembled ones were put together by body-builder Manco Environmental at its East Tamaki facility. All up a further 18 vehicles are in the pipeline, including a prominent, EECA-backed contract with Countdown for their home delivery trucks.
“They have got five coming,” Fairweather says. “We built the first one in Melbourne to make sure all the engineering was right and then shipped that over here. CAL Isuzu is building the other
four in Hamilton.”
CAL Isuzu is building several vehicles for SEA, part of how it prefers to work with truck brands here. Rather than its own factory, it works with partners already set up with workshops to handle the conversions. CAL is handling Isuzu product in the North Island, while Blackwells will handle it in the South Island – the latter building some units for Foodstuffs.
The vehicles arrive in New Zealand with their diesel drivetrain intact. It is removed from the truck and taken into parts stock by the dealer. Not that Isuzu is the only brand they will work
with. There are also IVECO and Hino trucks with SEA drivetrains installed on the road here. “Our system’s designed to fit into a standard rigid chassis. So we don’t mind what brand of truck it is,” Fairweather explains.
For operators, that means they can stick with a supplier and chassis they are comfortable with, speeding integration into fleets.
The vehicles are very configurable, with batteries that range from 70kWh to 216kWh on offer. SEA’s battery density has been growing over time, providing more range with no additional bulk and little extra weight. Systems are modular, with Fairweather explaining one customer is in the process of up-sizing their battery, their existing unit able to be sold to a new customer at a reduced rate.
A similar build model will be taken with the arrival of their electric delivery and minibus vans. They are based on a Chinese van that looks similar but is not the same as, the outgoing generation Hiace. Action Manufacturing will handle the drivetrain fitment to the “glider” bodies. The four-tonne van will retail for $89,990 and the 15-seat minibus for $99,990. A number are already on order, three going to Alsco to handle laundry and another to Sanford to carry chilled fish. The latter will use a chiller powered off the traction battery, making it entirely electric.
So how far will a SEA Electric unit go? That depends on the size of the vehicle and the configuration the user chooses. The small delivery trucks will go 200-260km on a charge, and the rubbish trucks a similar distance – though with the addition of a considerable number of uplifts of bins. The vans hit up to 350km. Ranges like that take the vehicles beyond simple “last mile” status, with Fairweather explaining one client is working to have an electric truck do a Rotorua to Taupo return trip in the morning, then Rotorua to Tauranga in the afternoon. Moreover, that is without DC fast charging.
SEA has not yet equipped its vehicles for the technology, working instead on the basis that its commercial clients will have, or can fit, 32 amp three-phase charging, allowing for overnight fills or top-ups between jobs.
“We end up with probably the biggest charging infrastructure in the world, actually,” Fairweather explains. “Because just about every commercial environment’s got a 32 amp PDL 56 series
screwed to the wall.”
Charging is relatively fast, and so is payback. For a medium-size electric delivery truck, Fairweather says payback on the additional investment comes in around two-and-ahalf years. The savings are not just from fuel. Service costs are lower, particularly brakes. With the large rubbish trucks, four brake changes were scheduled a year – the electric version only required one. “And according to them, it didn’t really need doing; they just took the wheels off to have a look to see what was going on and decide of they’d change them while they were at it.” impact on tyre use – around 15-20%.
“That one we weren’t quite expecting,” Fairweather says. “We think it is because of the linear nature of the motor – rather than the horrible diesel whack on them.”
Smooth operator We got the chance to go for a ride around Otahuhu in one of Sea Electric’s Isuzu NLRbased small trucks, this one headed for a life delivering groceries for Countdown. With its electric drivetrain well behind you, the SEA truck is even quieter than the other electric commercial we have experienced, the LDV EV80. Without the weight of a body behind us, there was
some jiggle to the way the truck rode, but otherwise, it was very smooth – taking off the power delivery curve appears to have been programmed to perfection. The Isuzu demonstrates
one of those critical reasons such conversions work so well. There is nothing in the cab of this truck that gives away the game as to what it is – other than the silence. It is just a truck, with all
the convenience and comfort levels Isuzu’s experience have given it. Even the transmission shifter is the same.
Wellington’s first fully electric rubbish truck will join two electric vans in servicing about 40 Wellington City Council social housing sites.
The Manco SEA EV10 Electricat was revealed at a ceremony at the council’s Berkley Dallard apartments on June 12.
Bought with the aid of a government low emission vehicles contestable fund administered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), the e-truck goes to contractor Professional Property & Cleaning Services (PPCS).
The same company introduced two electric vans last year and has ordered six more EVs.
PPCS committed to introducing EVs where possible in taking up a contract for cleaning and rubbish removal at WCC’s Parks, Sports and Recreation and City Housing sites.
“We see this new truck as a major step towards our target of converting 70% of our fleet to electric or hybrid by 2025,” PPCS general manager Sarel Bloem says.
“We’re a family owned New Zealand company and we’re passionate about protecting the environment. That’s why we bought this truck and why we’ve just ordered an additional six electric vehicles. This means in the next few months 100% of the vehicles we use to service Wellington will be electric.”
Wellington mayor Justin Lester says the city has been installing EV chargers for residents’ use but needs to lead by example.
“That’s why we’re converting our own fleet to electric and I’m delighted that PPCS are joining us in this. This is about making our city cleaner for us and future generations.”
Climate change portfolio holder councillor David Lee says Wellington is continuing the journey to becoming a zero-carbon capital by 2050.
“We will only get there with help from companies like PPCS getting on board. I’d encourage other companies with large fleets to do the same.”
Climate Change minister James Shaw says it is important for New Zealand’s service fleet to convert to EVs.
“Unlike private vehicles, rubbish trucks, taxis and delivery vehicles are on the road most of the working day,” he says.
“The more of them that are electric the quicker we will be able to reach our emission reducing goals.”
The Manco SEA EV10 Electricat is based on a SEA Electric (NZ) SEA Drive system with the rest built by Auckland-based Manco Environmental.
Similar electric trucks are run by Civic Contractors in Auckland which has 200 vehicles it aims to switch to electric by 2025, and the Palmerston North City Council.
The trucks have a 120kW battery pack and 180km range and are recharged at their depots.
Article by Geoff Dobson, Transport Talk NZ, June 12 2019
The chief executive of waste management group Cleanaway says a pioneering trial of electric rubbish trucks in a council area in Melbourne is showing promising signs in its early stages.
The electric trucks have a range of 180 kilometres before they need to be recharged and the first has been operating for the past few weeks in the City of Hobsons Bay, which covers 12 suburbs in western Melbourne.
Cleanaway chief executive Vik Bansal said there were good signs on the operating costs for the vehicles for kerbside collections, because they needed to be kept low for the new technology to be viable in the long term.
“At this stage, the trials are progressing well but it is a bit too early to fully gauge their success,” Mr Bansal said on Tuesday.
“So far the electric trucks are showing positive signs in terms of their cost to operate and overall reliability.”
Jonathan Marsden, mayor of the City of Hobsons Bay council area that encompasses 88,000 people and suburbs such as Williamstown, Altona and Newport, said it was only a small part of the overall fleet of rubbish collection vehicles, but the council wanted to be a leader in this sector.
“It’s early days obviously, and I think as battery technology improves they will be able to carry even greater payloads,” Mr Marsden said.
Local residents were curious about whether the electric vehicles would be coming to collect their own household rubbish.
“It’s a small part of a very big fleet,” he said.
Range and noise
The vehicles were assembled in Bundaberg in Queensland under a collaboration with SEA Electric and Superior Park.
The vehicles have a range of between 180 kilometres to 200 kilometres before they require recharging, and the drive system is able to generate electricity when braking.
They are also much quieter than regular waste collection vehicles, which has local governments across Australia eyeing the potential to cut road noise for early morning collections and keep the vehicles off the road in peak-hour traffic in congested areas.
Mr Bansal said there was a lot of opportunity to advance this type of technology. The company was also closely monitoring the costs and service levels to make sure it was a viable option over the long term.
Delivering a consistent and reliable service was fundamental to Cleanaway, and the trial needed to prove there wasn’t a significant increase in waste collection costs for ratepayers.
Cleanaway operates about 5000 waste collection vehicles around Australia.
Other local council areas in Geelong and Moonee Valley are also scheduled to be part of trials with the electric rubbish trucks so that Cleanaway can test them in different settings with hills and unique local characteristics. READ MORE
Article by Simon Evans, Senior Reporter – Financial Review, June 11 2019
Leading electrical systems for trucks and other commercial vehicles.
Concern for nature and the environment is becoming increasingly important in purchasing decisions. Similarly, they are also considering SEA Electric, an Australian company that has expanded almost everywhere in the world over two years with its electric batteries for trucks and vans.
Australia’s leading software and technology company, SEA Electric, is finally entering the European market with its carefully developed and advanced electrical system. After successful breakthroughs on the domestic and New Zealand market, several months ago, they successfully launched their business in America, and now they open their premises in Vienna.
An investment for a cleaner and cheaper future
At a time when industry is increasingly aware of environmental pollution and wants to contribute to cleaner air, it offers unique technology for commercial and delivery vehicles. Seven different SEA-DRIVE® power-system innovative systems have been developed to replace diesel engines from smaller and larger commercial vehicles, from vans to trucks (55,000lb). The system with electric batteries operates on the basis of patented computer technology. Their engines are used by important international companies around the world.
Cooperation signed with Ikea and DHL
In Australia, SEA Electric has already entered into strong European companies such as DHL and Ikea, and the first European licensing cooperation has already been signed with the largest German manufacturer of garbage trucks. For vans and municipal transport services, such as mail and garbage collection, they have developed advanced propulsion technology with the highest energy efficiency and easy and convenient charging. A number of junction points in cities also help to save energy, as stopping and firing the battery is full (regenerative braking). Electrically propelled electric cars and vans represent a green solution for cities that are confronted with traffic congestion or are seeking to improve people’s lives.
Easy filling on the road or in the base
The SEA-DRIVE® electric battery system is fully charged within 4-6 hours and is therefore perfect for commercial and delivery vehicles from major European cities, which are still small enough for delivery at a distance of up to 350 km. And they are overly concerned about where to fill up the vehicle quickly while driving. Unlike other electric vehicles, all SEA- Drive® systems have the option of charging with a portable 22kW charger in any 3-phase socket. They are therefore an ideal solution for delivery in urban areas where the vehicle returns to the base and the battery can be fully charged overnight.
For a green environment without harmful releases
Tony Fairweather, executive director of SEA Electric believes that the system of effective urban e-mobility will also adopt European cities and thus contribute to solving environmental congestion. “SEA Electric is the ideal solution for cities that are consciously and consciously prepared for environmental zones. It will be prohibited to use harmful emissions vehicles, which is why it is right for ministries and municipalities to become aware as soon as possible of the importance of using electric batteries, engines. Research suggests that vehicles fossil fuels will disappear from cities by 2050, and the use of electric trucks should increase by 2025. ”
Easy to install and upgrade the system
The growing demand for nature-friendly transport, government support for the purchase of electric cars and improved filling infrastructure open up new opportunities for environmental and high-tech technological advances. SEA Electric Energy Technology, due to efficient and easy installation procedures, enables the upgrading and development of the hardware of each embedded subsystem. There is no doubt that SEA Electric has a technology and a business model that meets the requirements of the transition to the electrical system since they have a complete package for almost every commercial vehicle.
“SEA Electric is successfully penetrating the European market” by Anja Kovacic, Market Development Manager – EU at SEA Electric, 28th May 2019
Australian electric truck operations are a reality in Melbourne suburbs, WM Waste Management Services has revealed.
effort sees WM using a SuperiorPak-bodied, SEA Electric propelled, Iveco ACCO-based hard-waste trucks to collect hard rubbish in the City of Casey in Melbourne’s south-east.
Eight months after the initiative was flagged, WM Waste Management Services MD Mark Jeffs hails the new trucks were the first of their kind to be designed and manufactured in Australia making them a triple win for the economy, the environment and the ratepayer.
“Obviously electric trucks are a key demonstration of our support for renewable energy as they significantly reduce our environmental footprint and improve the sustainability of residential hard waste collection.
“But the equal winners here are ratepayers in Casey as the trucks will leave them with cleaner air; they are much quieter than diesel or petrol vehicles and they will reduce annual fuel and running costs as they are require less maintenance and last longer than normal trucks.
“It might mean a few extra minutes of shut-eye for residents who are usually woken by the roar of a rubbish truck doing its rounds.
“I am proud to bring electric trucks to the streets of Melbourne and I congratulate the City of Casey on this significant commitment.”
The company says the move towards electric vehicles is “part of a shift towards further sustainability commitments by WM and cements their reputation as an industry leader. The company was also the first hard waste business to use hybrid (diesel/electric) trucks in 2008. ”
City of Casey mayor Amanda Stapledon sees it as “a terrific breakthrough in technology that will mean locals have a more sustainable hard waste collection with less noise, making their streets more liveable”. READ MORE
Article by Australian Transport News (ATN), fullyloaded.com.au, 24 May 2019
The City of Casey’s recycling of hard-waste is becoming carbon neutral with several new electric trucks joining the fleet at WM Waste Management as part of a new waste contract.
The trucks are powered solely by battery power and have a charge of up to five hours before needing to be recharged. READ MORE
Article by City of Casey, 23 May 2019
Have no doubt, electric trucks are coming.
And, if a pilot program now being run by Isuzu Australia in concert with SEA Electric delivers the right results, the Japanese truck maker will be ready, willing and able as demand increases.
The obvious application for electric trucks is shorthaul distribution work in light and medium-duty trucks, and according to both Isuzu and SEA Electric, operator interest is slowly but surely growing. READ MORE
Article by: Steve Brooks, Photography by: Steve Brooks and Nathan Duff, Owner Driver, 22 May 2019