SEA Electric is taking its Australian EV-making talents abroad, preparing two pure-electric trucks and a van for the American market.
Based on Ford and Isuzu chassis, and set for display at the Work Truck Show in Indianapolis, the display trucks follow the purchase of a site in Los Angeles, from which it’ll explore what’s required for North American certification and distribution.
The first truck is based on a Ford F-59 Stripped Chassis, fitted with a battery good for 350km of range. Continuous power from the motor is 150kW, and continuous torque is 1230Nm, but peak power and torque are actually 250kW and 2500Nm respectively.
The second is a Pantech-bodied Isuzu NRR, and features the same powertrain, with the same 350km claimed range. As with the Ford, it can be charged in between four and six hours with a 20kW on-board charger.
Finally, an adapted Ford Transit van will be put on show in Indianapolis, with a range of 350km, peak power of 134kW and max torque of 700Nm.
“We see a lot of opportunities in the States, it’s an extremely large commercial vehicle market with a strong interest in sustainability – the US is an important part of our growth plans,” said Tony Fairweather, SEA Electric Group managing director.
“The country’s high urbanisation and sprawling cities also provide conditions where EV can deliver operators a lot of efficiency gains, not to mention the obvious environmental benefits.”
SEA Electric is based in Victoria’s LaTrobe Valley. The Victorian Government is helping fund its new factory at an old coal plant, which will have an initial production capacity of 2400 vehicles annually.
Locally, it offers two vehicles: a delivery van, and a 15-seat minibus. Power in both comes from a 70kW/340Nm motor capable of pushing the E4V and E4B to 50km/h in around five seconds.
Top speed is limited to 100km/h, while the 70kWh battery is reportedly good for 320km with a 650kg payload. Charging takes around four hours on a fast three-phase connector, or ‘overnight’ on a regular 240V port. READ MORE
LINFOX trial electric truck developed by systems integrator SEA Electric for Woolworths Online and store deliveries.
As global interest in electric vehicles (EV) continues to grow, Linfox and its industry partners are working to accelerate uptake of the technology in Australia’s road transport sector.
Together with the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) and valued customers Woolworths and Australia Post, Linfox has helped form a working group dedicated to increasing industry engagement in EV technologies.
The ALC’s Electric Vehicles Working Group is focussed on setting industry priorities, identifying and navigating the barriers to uptake and supporting legislative and regulatory change.
As leaders in logistics, Linfox and the ALC appeared at the July Senate Inquiry into electric vehicles on behalf of the industry and provided recommendations and insights on the benefits of widespread adoption.
Earlier this year, Linfox Executive Chairman Peter Fox highlighted plans to make Linfox the first mover on electric vehicles, specifically electric trucks, subject to the development of supporting infrastructure and manufacturer supply of appropriate vehicles.
The plans are underpinned by Linfox’s 2007 commitment to reduce its environmental impact and advance technologies that deliver great outcomes for both customers and the planet.
To this end, Linfox is supporting customer and fellow ALC member Woolworths as it trials EV technologies at the Linfox owned Australian Automotive Research Centre in Anglesea.
The trial includes a fully electric truck developed by systems integrator SEA Electric for Woolworths Online and store deliveries. According to SEA Electric, the truck can travel more than 220 kilometres on one charge.
Linfox continues to work alongside the Electric Vehicle Council to engage key global suppliers to ensure the development of cost-effective, non-payload constrained EVs across several weight classes for use in the Australian market.
Linfox is paving the way for the introduction of EVs in its fleet by:
- trialling EVs at Linfox’s purpose-built facilities
- investing in renewable energy solutions to power EVs, including installing 500kW of solar panels in Linfox warehouses
- implementing EV material handling equipment at Linfox sites, and
- building EV requirements into new sites.
Labor has struck a confidential deal to build an electric vehicle factory in Morwell, bringing an estimated 500 manufacturing jobs to the Latrobe Valley.
The value of the five-year agreement between the Andrews government and Australian company SEA Electric has been kept secret but the deal has already been signed, meaning it will go ahead no matter the result of next month’s election.
It follows the loss of about 750 jobs in the region when the Hazelwood coal-fired power plant closed early last year.
Latrobe Valley residents who may have lost work when Hazelwood closed will be given the opportunity to train with SEA Electric through the government’s worker transition service.
“The announcement today … is all about making sure the Latrobe Valley is the national capital for electric vehicles,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.
“There will be jobs in the construction of the factory, and of course when you are producing 2400 vehicles a year there are great opportunities for more of that supply chain to be brought into this proud region.”
After spending Monday in his home town of Wangaratta, Mr Andrews boarded his campaign bus for the second day, heading to Morwell to announce the deal on Tuesday.
The seat of Morwell currently belongs to neither Labor nor the Coalition, with former Nationals MP Russell Northe leaving the party to represent the electorate as an independent.
Labor has designated Morwell a target seat, which means it gets a fully resourced field campaign.
The party held Morwell from 1970 to 2006, until Mr Northe won it for the Nationals.
It could be a pivotal seat for the Coalition if it is to defeat the government at the November election.
The Nationals have preselected former Latrobe City councillor Sheridan Bond. Mark Richards, a former Hazelwood employee, is running for Labor.
Former senator Ricky Muir will also contest the seat for the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party. Mr Northe, who holds the seat by 1.8 per cent, has not yet declared whether he will fight another election.
The car manufacturing deal was being kept commercial-in-confidence to preserve Victoria’s competitive advantage, Mr Andrews said.
“I think Victorians understand that we can’t be telling all of our competitors and setting the price if you like,” he said. “We need to make sure that we get good value and we have.”
Ben Carroll, the Minister for Industry, said the auto sector would change more in the next five years than it has in the past 50, and the deal would set Morwell up to be part of that change.
A site for construction of the factory is yet to be confirmed, but SEA Electric group managing director Tony Fairweather said it could be up and running within a year.
“We’d hope in around 12 months,” he said.
The company already has a factory in Dandenong where it assembles electric delivery vans and minibuses.
About 2400 electric vehicles would be assembled at the plant annually, with potential to ramp up production in coming years.
Thirty per cent of the vehicles would be made locally, Mr Fairweather said, because some components of electric vehicles are not made in Australia.
But he said there was potential to boost the level of local content as production increases in coming years.
When the Queensland Government released The Future is Electric: Queensland’s Electric Vehicle Strategy last year, we made a commitment to transition the government fleet to electric vehicles. The QFleet Electric Vehicle Transition Strategy establishes this new technology firmly on the government’s fleet agenda. The current inclusion of electric vehicles in QFleet’s fleet, and the intention to at least double their number each year for the next four years, will demonstrate their suitability as part of a multi-functional and versatile
This leadership position will be sustained, and negotiations are alreadyunderway with vehicle manufacturers to pave the way for early access to new electric vehicle models when released onto the Australian market.
With a combined fleet of more than 10,000 vehicles located across the state, departments will have many opportunities to make the shift to electric models as vehicles fall due for replacement over the coming months and years. With their support, this strategy will make the transition a reality.READ MORE
Isuzu Australia Ltd (IAL) will test two battery electric vehicles (EVs) it has developed in partnership with Melbourne-based EV developer SEA Electric.
A purely Australian effort, it is independent of Isuzu’s Japan-focused Elf EV light commercial project EV previewed at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show but comes with the blessing of headquarters in Tokyo.
The EV program is focused on proving the 8-9 tonne gross vehicle mass (GMV) NQR and the 12-14 tonne GMV FSR for urban return-to-base applications.
The NQR will have maximum and continuous power of 130kW and 100kW respectively, while those for the FSR are 250kW and 150kW.
Maximum and continuous torque are 1,500Nm and 800Nm for the NQR and 2,500Nm and 1,230Nm for the FSR
Both models will carry 132 KWh nickel, manganese, cobalt oxide (NMC) lithium-ion battery packs powering direct drive permanent magnet motors, rated to 98 per cent efficiency.
The battery type used, sourced from Canada and China, was chosen for its energy density and ability to stay cool enough to avoid flaming. It is expected to have a battery life of 8-10 years.
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The reality of this sector today is that it’s dependent on refined petroleum that enters Australia through import vessels and leaves through tailpipe emissions.
Electric vehicles allow us to address both ends of the equation. While we import more than 92 per cent of our oil requirements, we generate 100 per cent of our electricity domestically. Vehicles that run on that electricity cost a fraction in fuel and maintenance, all while producing zero tailpipe emissions.
Economic improvement, increased public health and reducing pollution are all reasons why the global road transport sector is working in lock step towards a future powered by electric vehicles.
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