Global transport company SEA Electric took a big step forward in the U.S., with confirmation of an order for more than 1,000 SEA Hino M5 EVs, the single largest order in the company’s history.
Set to be delivered to GATR EV (a division of GATR Truck Centers), the zero-emission trucks will feature the patented SEA-Drive Power System. The SEA Electric offering of pure-electric systems is adaptable to most OEM glider chassis platforms, from medium-duty Class 3 to heavy-duty Class 8.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, over the past 18 months, SEA Electric has established a nationwide network of technology partners as well as collaborations with leading OEMs.
The SEA M5 EV model featured at the recent ACT Expo in Long Beach, California, complete with the SEA-Drive 120a Power System, which is specified for truck platforms with a GVWR of 13,000- to 18,000-pounds (Class 3-5). The package features a 1,106 lb.-ft. electric motor in combination with a 138 kWh battery pack.
“This deal is the culmination of years of research, development and growth, and proves that SEA Electric is on track to be number one when it comes to electrifying fleets across the world,” said Mike Menyhart, SEA Electric President – Americas and Chief Strategy Officer. “The market is looking for a proven EV solution, and with SEA Electric, we bring that to the industry technology which has been verified with millions of miles of real-world use. Furthermore, this announcement reaffirms our commitment to continue our rapid expansion within the North American market, and sets the scene for an exciting 2022.”
For SEA Electric, the milestone is the company’s first four-digit order.
“And, it comes in a non-incentive state, which proves that commercial EV solutions can expand in areas with no incentives, while all corners of the market are seeking premium EV solutions,” said Nick Casas, SEA Electric Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “GATR should be congratulated for being at the forefront of EV supply and being capable of servicing the needs of large fleets immediately. GATR has a partnership with Merchants Fleet, which will benefit the end-user, who will not only be able to access an electric solution straight away, but will be able to transact with one of the most respected leasing companies in the USA.”
Merchants Fleet has committed more than $2B toward having 50% of its mobility fleet electric by 2025 and 50% of its clients’ fleet electric by 2030. The company has also launched an Adopt EV program, designed to help guide businesses through each step of the fleet electrification process — from assessing needs, to purchasing the right vehicles, to charging options and infrastructure support.
GATR Truck Center, which features five dealerships throughout Iowa and Minnesota, currently has an e-commerce system in development to sell purely electric vehicles. The first 40 vehicles are expected to be delivered by the end of December 2021, with the remaining vehicles to be delivered throughout 2022.
Read the full article at Green Fleet Magazine published on October 20, 2021.
Fleet Auto News Caroline Falls talks with Bill Gillespie, President – Asia Pacific of Australia’s newest truck OEM, SEA Electric. Gillespie recently joined SEA Electric after many years at Hino Australia. Gillespie talks about his move, about SEA Electric’s exciting new trucks, and about SEA Electric’s shift to California. This is a transcript of the interview edited for brevity. For the full interview you can listen to the podcast linked here.
Welcome, Bill, it’s a thrill to have you on our podcast. I’ve been following developments at SEA Electric for about five years since seeing a Bucher garbage truck retrofit by SEA Electric at a fleet exhibition. It’s been an exciting journey for sure, and I can’t wait to hear more about it from you, and to share it with our listeners.
Thanks Caroline. It’s great to be with you today.
Firstly, let’s talk about you joining SEA Electric, which is a recent development. When, why and how did that come about?
I joined in May this year. In my role at Hino I’d worked on the SEA Electric project, and I’d made a good connection with the founder and CEO Tony Fairweather. Over the time, I became more and more interested in the project, and more and more interested in the whole zero-emission world. I’ve always been a great advocate for greener technology, so it seemed like an obvious segue for me for the next stage of my career.
Fantastic. One of the highlights of the Brisbane Truck Show this year, where we’re talking about SEA Electric working with Hino — was the unveiling of the SEA Electric trucks, some of them built on the Hino chassis imported and built here I think by SEA Electric. Can you tell us everything about the SEA Electric trucks built here by Hino?
The two trucks in our range, the 816 (Hino 300 series) — a smaller delivery truck used for infrastructure work, like tip trucks and council trucks, and, then a larger truck — a GH (Hino 500 series) — both of those are imported from Hino in Japan, as SKD, or semi knockdown kits. We assemble them in our factory in Melbourne. We assemble the truck on a jig and then we install the SEA Electric power system or the drive system into the trucks so that’s a fully built up unit from SEA Electric — assembled in Australia, in Melbourne for the Australian market.
Fantastic. I think the introduction of an electric truck, the ideal size for these parcel and grocery deliveries at this juncture, where we have a COVID driven surge in online shopping, is magic.
Yes, that’s the most recent truck. The truck is aimed primarily at last-mile delivery, or home delivery service similar to the current truck that Woolworths for instance use. They’re one of the end-user companies that are going to trial these vehicles. We have already done extensive testing in Australia on that truck. Already it is reaching the payload benchmark, and also the range benchmarks, that we’ve set. So it is very exciting to be able to offer an Australian built, assembled electric truck that can be driven on a car licence. There is a huge demand for that in the Australian marketplace, from a range of different customers.
Amazing. So, with this swelling of the fleets by Woolworths and Coles and others, is that just being in the right place at the right time for you?
It’s not just happenstance. It’s part of the strategy to offer a last-mile delivery truck. You don’t need to be Einstein to work out the last-mile delivery business is huge and growing and will continue to grow by all forecasts. So, what we know is companies are seeking a zero-emission solution for that type of work. So if you can offer one, then arguably, you’ve got, a marketplace that’s growing, and one into which we think we can slot very successfully.
I’m also noting recent discussions now about electric vehicles aren’t so fixated on range anxiety anymore.
I think range anxiety as they describe is fairly quickly becoming an old conversation. Just recently, ARENA, a federal government infrastructure funding body, released a range of grants for different companies to instal charging infrastructure in Australia. That subsidy was for over 400 (chargers). I know Ampol is one of the companies and they plan to introduce electric charging modules to all their forecourts over the next two to three years. So, that range anxiety that people may experience today, just won’t be part of the conversation. You’ll be able to charge your cars pretty much anywhere you like. Clearly it still takes longer to charge a car than it does to put fuel in it. In the truck world, what we see is they’re charging at their base; they go out, they do their run, and they come back. So with some of the companies we work with that’s exactly how they operate, they charge from their own renewables structure — either solar on the roof, or they have another way of generating renewable energy, and they charge their trucks overnight, on a low-cost tariff regime. So they’re not saying to us, when we talk to them, that range is an issue; it’s just not a conversation. But, it’s horses for courses. Of course, if a truck is going to be driven from Sydney to Newcastle and back every day, that’s a different challenge and one that probably isn’t going to be met today by an EV truck.
Just turning to something else now, I did mention in the intro that SEA Electric has been deemed an OEM, or original equipment manufacturer. Is that because you also do complete own design and build. Can you tell us more about the designation
You need to be assembling or manufacturing your own truck, which is exactly what we do. We bring the componentry in from around the world. We also have a percentage of the truck that’s made from locally produced items — cabling, and switch gear and items like that. In that sense we’re no different to Volvo who have a factory at Wacol (in Brisbane). And we’ve joined the Truck Industry Council. We will have our registrations listed with the Truck Industry Council, just like every other truck manufacturer.
I also wanted to talk about the shift of SEA Electric headquarters from Victoria to California. California has long been a leader in the shift to sustainable energy and a proponent of it. I’ve interviewed public works fleet managers from that state so I know there’s a lot going on there in that space. But tell us in, in your words, why did SEA Electric move its headquarters to California, and when?
Well, look, I think there’s a lot of energy in Australia for zero-emission solutions, no doubt about that. We’ve had some great support from buyers around Australia, also companies and governments. I guess the fact is, of course, that the market is a certain size in Australia. We want to recognise that and respect that but the North American market is just a much bigger scale. So, if you are going to grow a business in this space, you need to be looking to North America and also Europe. We’ve just established an office in Germany. We want to stretch out, spread our wings if you like. The North American market is very important. The Californian opportunity is big because they’ve got a lot of incentives for Californian companies to change to zero-emission trucks, so it made sense for us to be in that market initially, and eventually we’ll have offices right across North America.
Wow, I’m looking forward to keeping my eye on SEA Electric. So, just talking about this boon that’s going on for you, I hear that an IPO, or initial public offering, may be being considered. Is there anything you can tell us about that, like, could it be a dual listing on the Australian exchange as well as in the US. I guess the chief benefit is that it gives SEA Electric the ability to raise capital to expand. Is that the case? Is that what you and the board are envisaging — rapid growth and planning for that.
Obviously, it costs money to scale to this level. And building trucks and the infrastructure is not without its cost, so growing the business means we need to, at some point, decide whether we list on a stock exchange and which one is it. It is more likely to be the NASDAQ; that’s most likely to be in the first part of 2022, although that’s yet to be decided. But, yes, we would like to list and go with an IPO in the first half of next year, if that timing works out.
Well, let’s finish up now with you telling us what to watch out for next from SEA, and also maybe from the electric vehicle world, generally.
I think, really for us, we’ve just finished this last-mile delivery prototype refrigerated truck. That’s the next two months; that prototyping trial program will be over, and then we will be in the market with that truck. It’s a very exciting project for us as a company, but also for the marketplace in Australia, and a real Australian first. The truck will meet the range of mileage in kilometres on auto charge and that’s game changing for the market. The other one we’re doing is, we’re working with Hino on an on-demand bus — the small Poncho 21-seat bus that they currently sell in Australia. We are working with them on a prototype and a project to repower that vehicle with an electric drive system, and that will also be a very exciting project in the first half of 2022. More generally, we’re seeing governments across Australia, mostly state governments, very interested in the whole zero-emissions space, and that’s not just electric — it’s also hydrogen and hybrid. So that whole world is really heating up. Queensland’s got their so called superhighway. And, Victoria is very keen to involve the state government, not only in just the technology but also in the potential manufacturing side as well.So it’s a really exciting time to be in the electric vehicle industry.
It certainly is. It’s just fantastic. Thank you so much for your time today Bill Gillespie, it was informative to hear what’s going on, and just great to be part of this exciting journey for SEA Electric, and for electric vehicles generally.
Thanks Caroline’s it’s been great to be with you. Thank you.
Read the full article at Fleet Auto News by Caroline Falls published on October 13, 2021.
As alternative power systems for trucks come into play the driving experience is going to change, so PowerTorque took a couple of examples out on the road to find out what it is like driving the SEA Electric truck.
PowerTorque jumped at the chance to drive some of the new electric trucks coming on line from SEA Electric. In this case the trucks were a Hino 500 crane truck and a 300 fitted with a drop side body.
Although limited, the drive was a chance to look into the future of truck driving in the urban environment.
The way these trucks have been designed make it a very similar to a driver’s experience in a diesel truck is the way the vehicle is started. The driver simply jumps in sits in the driver seat, puts the key in the ignition, turns it on and then turns ia little farther for three seconds to activate the system. This is exactly the same set of actions that driver would do when turning on a diesel engine truck, increasing that sense of familiarity.
In PowerTorque’s limited experience in driving electric trucks, the fact of the matter is there is very little to tell in terms of comparing the experiences. All electric motors have the same torque characteristics, as soon as the driver put their foot on the accelerator, they have full torque available, all of the way through the rev range.
One of the aspects of the electric truck which particularly impressed is the retardation available when the driver takes the foot off the accelerator. This is adjustable with a stalk on the steering column, exactly where the current exhaust brake control is located.
In fact this retardation performs the same function for the driver’s point of view, but from the truck’s point of view it is the valuable regenerative charging of the battery, which is taking place at the same time, and which has value for the truck’s range.
There has clearly been plenty of work being done on the way the computer controls the power system. This iteration of the SEA system feels a lot smoother when the truck takes off and slows down than an earlier model tested a couple of years ago.
This is the area where a lot of the ground work will be done to improve the acceptability of these vehicles on the market. We have seen a similar development over the years with the hybrid trucks which are in the Australian market, from Hino.
As the control system becomes smarter, the experience from the driver’s point of view becomes more normal and intuitive. There is nothing strange about the behaviour of the vehicle in response to input from the driver.
The basic principles of an electric truck are so simple and the fact that there is no need to match a transmission to an engine or accelerator input from the driver to the engines capabilities, means that just about every electric truck will feel very similar. Also, the NVH, noise vibration and harshness, measure of a driving experience will also be very similar, because of the smoothness and similarity in driveline behaviour.
Read the full article at Power Torque published on October 4, 2021.
SEA Electric developed and manufactures it electric truck drive trains in Melbourne, assembling e-trucks in Dandenong. But now the company has gone global with the major focus in bigger markets such as the US, how does it keep the business local? – Bill Gillespie explains
It’s an exciting time to be involved in the zero-emissions truck and bus world, and especially with a company that has its origins here in Australia and now proving to be a leader on the global stage.
While SEA Electric has made significant moves both here and aboard over the past 18 months, the genesis of that growth can be traced back to 2012, when the initial work commenced on the patented SEA-Drive Power-System.
From 2017, the technology was retrofitted to a wide range of ICE vehicles, and subsequently provided the company with millions of kilometres of real-world data from these repurposed all-electric powered vehicles.
In recent times, SEA Electric has expanded its footprint to include a significant presence in markets such as the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Thailand, Indonesia, South Africa and Germany.
AUSTRALIAN MANUFACTURING SUCCESS
Locally, SEA Electric in 2021 has grown to become Australia’s latest truck OEM, with a dedicated new truck production line creating vehicles backed by a full factory warranty, and available from a network of 15 dealerships nationwide.
The trucks have been fully tested to comply with ADR standards and carry SEA Electric badging. Our local team includes in-house research and development, support, product planning and development units.
It’s a major step forward for the industry and represents the first true range of all-electric trucks available anywhere in the world, with solutions ranging from 4.5-tonne car licence vehicles through to 22.5 tonne, three-axle trucks, completely adaptable for a wide range of final applications.
To achieve this, at our base in Melbourne, SEA Electric produces the trucks from Semi Knocked Down (SKD) kits, with the chassis, sub-assembled components, steering, suspension, and driveline mated to a fully trimmed cab as sourced directly from Hino in Japan.
This streamlined process provides efficiencies on multiple fronts over retrofitting, including time and cost, whilst also producing considerably less waste.
Perhaps our biggest achievement to date is the recent launch of the SEA 300-45 model, which will be a game-changer in the rapidly growing last-mile, or home delivery segment.
Critically, this model has been designed and engineered locally, with its 4.5-tonne GVM, meaning that it can be driven on a car licence, greatly expanding the available talent pool for employers.
Another strong suit of the design is its range, which is more than capable of handling a full day of city driving on one charge. The stop-start nature of use plays nicely into the hands of its regenerative braking capabilities, which tops up the batteries every time the truck decelerates.
With the slight weight premium applied by installing a battery-powered electric driveline in a light duty truck, the genius of the design is that it still allows for 2-tonnes of body and freight, which is a desirable proposition for operators.
While the SEA 300-45 is an ideal solution for Australia, its strengths are entirely applicable for any number of markets globally, with the local design principles being transferred to similar projects in North America and SE Asia.
In fact, the entire manufacturing process pioneered in Australia has been made available to the other branches of the company, which can be adapted into their different business models.
North America is clearly a market with tremendous opportunities in the EV space due to government led incentives, with the SEA Electric business strategy there being one of third-party upfit partners and licensing arrangements.
Locally, we continue to push on with our prominent research and development program, which dovetails seamlessly into the international efforts.
Concerning trade opportunities out of Australia, we are currently proceeding with a blended model for our New Zealand arm, where they are taking onboard Australian constructed vehicles, which are supplemented by licensed assembly provided by companies such as Blackwells.
With local production set to accelerate, the possibilities for SEA Electric in Australia are exciting, with high demand and support from the local market.
The beauty of the SEA-Drive Power-System is that it is adaptable for a wide variety of platforms. For instance, our local team has worked with our global partners to develop solutions for a wide variety of vehicle types, including buses, light commercial and delivery vans, with the opportunities being endless.
More and more, governments in Australia are taking environmental leadership, with our customer base growing extensively with many state and local authorities being early adopters of the technology.
Coupled with massive expansion in the nation’s EV charging infrastructure, we are proud to be pioneering the emissions free future of the transport industry.
Bill Gillespie is the SEA Electric President – Asia Pacific, bringing to the company a lifetime of industry experience, including from leadership roles at Hino Trucks Australia, Nissan Australia, Kia Motors Australia and Toyota Motor Corporation Australia.
Read the full article at AU Manufacturing by Peter Roberts published on September 29, 2021.
AP Equipment Financing is pursuing an initiative to provide competitive finance programs for package and delivery customers looking to acquire electric vehicles. To begin this initiative, AP will be providing finance solutions for SEA Electric‘s suite of electric vehicles tailored and designed solely for Package Delivery contractors, such as FedEx Ground.
“Financing commercial grade electric vehicles, with manufacturers such as SEA Electric, is not only a great option for providing state of the art, high-quality vehicles for our Package Delivery clientele, but this is also a socially responsible initiative that our company stands firmly behind” stated Nick Fong, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Technology Officer of AP. “Our customers have come to rely on AP’s ability to provide value-added services beyond the standard finance program. We take pride in our ability to provide the highest levels of customer service. This often entails preparing for large industry changing disruptions such as the electric vehicle transition. Staying ahead of the curve and offering finance packages customized to the unique requirements of EV’s demonstrates our dedication to our customers’ ever-changing needs, as well as our dedication to reducing carbon footprints nationwide.”
“We are at a point now where we are running major trials with some of the world’s largest fleet operators — the UPS, Staples and FedEx,” says Mike Menyhard, CSO of SEA Electric. “At the end of the day, those are the type of organizations that could very well put in three-, four- and five-digit orders, and we need to be able to show them how we would be able to support them,” According to SEA Electric, they are on schedule to deliver more than 1,000 electric commercial vehicles this year and to have more than 15,000 vehicles on the road by the end of 2023.
AP Equipment Financing and their parent company, Tokyo Century USA, recognize that addressing environmental issues is a social responsibility and will seek to contribute to the creation of an environmentally-sound, sustainable economy and society by acting with due consideration for environmental issues.
Read the full article at AP Equipment Financing by Cori Miller published on September 28, 2021.
SEA Electric says its display at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in California from August 30 to September 2 has been a major success for the company.
Four vehicles were displayed; a bare Ford Step Van Class 6 (SV6) chassis and a SEA Hino M5 EV chassis, with a ride and drive experience featuring a SEA Hino M5 EV (Staples box truck) and a SEA SV6 EV (FedEx Ground step van) with about 40 of the expo’s 5000 visitors experiencing these.
Australian-founded and now Los Angeles-based SEA Electric says all four vehicles have the SEA-Drive 120a electric power system it has been developing since 2012.
The expo showcased the latest products available in the alternative fuels sector, with SEA Electric providing a solution for most truck and van OEM glider chassis, from Class 3 to Class 8.
The event was also the first public display since tier one transport drivetrain supplier Meritor announced its strategic investment and shareholding in SEA Electric, with a Meritor 14Xe ePowertrain featured on the stand.
The system is suited to Class 8 refuse and linehaul trucks, Class 6-7 pickup and delivery, plus school bus applications.
“Overall, the ACT Expo was an outstanding success for SEA Electric, with hundreds of current and potential partners catching up with our team of sales and engineering staff,” SEA Electric founder and president Tony Fairweather says.
“Through networking with other companies at the expo, we are aware of a genuine interest in our products, which is particularly heartening, especially as we power towards an IPO.
“The feedback we received was incredibly positive; driving an EV is a phenomenal experience compared to anything else on the road.”
The trucks have a 138kWh battery pack, delivering up to 320km range, with a typical break-even period of fewer than four years without considering any applicable grants or subsidies.
The US ACT Expo is from May 9 to 12 next year.
Read the full article at Auto Talk by Geoff Dobson published on September 16, 2021.
The Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Long Beach, California, brought together major players in trucking and transport decarbonisation. From large heavy-duty Class 8 tractor-trailer trucks down to the three-wheeled mini cargo carriers, the event showcased the latest battery-electric, fuel cell and clean technologies.
Fuel Cells Coming to Trucks Soon
Long Beach is home to the Port of Los Angeles, where ten Toyota fuel-cell-powered Kenworth trucks are deployed. The technology tested at the port will be available to truckmakers soon. A few days before the expo, Toyota announced that it would be offering its fuel cell technology to trucking manufacturers.
Toyota fuel-cell tech will be available in 2023. It includes dual fuel cell modules, battery, electric motors, transmission and hydrogen storage that delivers over 300 miles of range at a full-load weight of 80,000 lbs.
“We have proven the technology. We feel fuel cell technology is ready for volume production,” says Chris Rovik, Executive Program Manager, Toyota Motor North America, “It’s exciting to see the critical mass of fuel cell technology.”
Golden Opportunities for Cleaning Up Trucking
The state of California continually supports efforts for zero-emissions vehicles. At the Expo, The South Coast Air Quality Management District, California Air Resources Board and California Energy Commission. partnering with NFI Industries and Schneider, announced that they will fund 100 battery‐electric trucks in California. It is named the Joint Electric Truck Scaling Initiative, or JETSI.
The project will connect the port of Los Angeles to inland distribution centres using Daimler Trucks and Volvo Trucks and also fund infrastructure charging. The project is expected to replace more than 690,000 gallons of diesel annually.
These kinds of programs have been proven to be successful such as the early funding of TransPower.
Investment in TransPower by the California Energy Commission, U.S. The Department of Energy, South Coast Air Quality Management District, as well as the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, early on, are now helping to bring electric powertrains to the industry. Escondido-based TransPower debuted a Class 8 truck driving a ground-breaking distance of 88 miles back in 2014.
TransPower, which started developing electric drive systems in 2010, was purchased by Meritor in 2020. TransPower technology is now part of Meritor Blue Horizon products.
“It is a good match with Meritor and TransPower. Together we are able to build a really advanced vehicle,” says Frank Falcone, Vice President of Powertrain Technologies at TransPower USA, “Both of our skill sets are symbiotic. We refined our existing skills– ending up with a vehicle that is more efficient and with better performance and powertrain. Our hardware is fuel agnostic. It doesn’t mind where the electricity comes from, it will work with battery-electric, fuel cell and other technologies.”
Meritor recently invested in SEA Electric and its electrification platforms.
“There is a tremendous interest in our all-electric SEA-Drive Power System technology, as well as our applications, including the Class 6 Step Van platform,” says Tony Fairweather, president and founder, SEA Electric.
Continue reading the full article – including sections entitled “Many Sizes of Clean Vehicles”, “Orange And Green”, “New Charging Leads The Charge”, and “FreeWire Technologies Offers Charging Services And Upgrades” – at Auto Futures by Lynn Walford published on September 5, 2021.
A 4.5-tonne GVM SEA 300-45 capable of being driven on a car licence has been launched as the entry-level truck for SEA Electric.
The first example of the pure electric-powered SEA 300-45 has rolled off SEA Electric’s Melbourne production line, with its car-licence rating opening up opportunities for zero emission last-mile deliveries.
Designed, engineered and assembled in Australia, the 4.5-tonne GVM SEA 300-45 was unveiled at the recent Brisbane Truck Show.
The model’s design sees batteries and its Power-System optimally positioned away from the steer axle, allowing for improved weight distribution and driving dynamics.
The patented SEA-Drive 70-7 Power-System as fitted to the truck features maximum power and torque ratings of 127kW and 700Nm, with its performance characteristics making it ideal for stop-start city traffic.
SEA says that with an 88kWh battery, the SEA 300-45 has an unladen range of up to 250km with a fast charging time of under two hours.
The truck’s tare weight comes in at 2.5-tonnes, which results in an allowance of two-tonnes for its body and freight with a maximum body length of 4820mm, while all ancillary functions can be converted to pure-electric power, including refrigeration units.
“In recent times, the transport industry has seen massive development in the last mile delivery sector, fuelled by the growth of demand for online shopping,” said Bill Gillespie, SEA Electric President – Asia Pacific.
“We’re particularly proud of the SEA 300-45; it ticks many boxes for fleets who want to show leadership in environmental sustainability moving forward.
“Obviously, being capable of driven on a car licence makes it is easier to attract and retain staff, and those drivers are able to utilise a noise, fume and vibration-free work environment.
“With the silent operation of the truck, converting to EVs creates opportunities to beat noise curfews moving forward, with residences and businesses along delivery routes also big winners.
“The range of the SEA 300-45 is also a strong suite, and when coupled with its fast charging capability, the trucks can slot in seamlessly to existing fleets.
Mr Gillespie went on to say that the first SEA 300-45 is yet another milestone for SEA Electric since the local volume production of trucks commenced, with the brand recently becoming Australia’s latest OEM after gaining Australian Design Rules approval.
The SEA Electric range is available from the SEA national dealer network, complete with a comprehensive sales, service and parts offering, backed up by NTI’s market leading 24/7 roadside assistance package for the warranty period of the trucks.
Further details on SEA Electric and its dealer network can be found here.
Read the full article at Truck Sales published on September 2, 2021.
TORRANCE, Calif. – SEA Electric will showcase four different examples from its lineup, with visitors able to sample the vehicles in the Ride & Drive experience. SEA Electric is a rapidly expanding global leader in electric power-systems technology for urban delivery and distribution fleets. Meritor, a recent strategic investor in SEA Electric, will also present on the SEA Electric stand.
Global automotive technology innovator SEA Electric is set to shine at the annual Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo, with a range of market-leading EV products to be showcased at North America’s premier transportation technology and clean fleet event.
Schedule to run from August 30th to September 2nd at the Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, CA, the ACT Expo provides SEA Electric with the ideal platform to demonstrate its cutting edge solutions.Since 2012, SEA Electric has been developing its proprietary 100% electric SEA-Drive Power System, which is adaptable to most OEM glider chassis, from Class 3 to Class 8.
Over the past 18 months, SEA Electric has rapidly established its presence in North America, including relocating its headquarters to Los Angeles and working with multiple leading OEM and industry collaborators on significant projects.This includes partnering with Hino Trucks USA for ‘Project Z’, Hino’s push towards a zero-emissions range of medium and heavy-duty trucks.
“The ACT Expo comes at an exciting time in the history of SEA Electric; we have created the ability to upfit 60,000 units per year, with opportunities in trucks, delivery vehicles, buses and government fleets,” said Tony Fairweather, president and founder, SEA Electric.
“Concurrently with our growth in North America, we have experienced remarkable global expansion, including throughout Asia, the Pacific, and now into Europe, with a range of projects ongoing with a variety of automotive leaders.
“What we bring to the market is a proven solution and track record, with over a million miles of real-world use to date. We have extensive strategic partner backing, most recently with Tier 1 supplier Meritor, who will be joining our stand at the event. We are looking to continue to drive our momentum forward at the ACT Expo, ultimately to our planned IPO”.
Meanwhile, for Mike Menyhart, SEA Electric President – Americas and Chief Strategy Officer, the ACT Expo offers the chance to connect with a broad cross-section of companies looking to take leadership with EV technology. “The ACT Expo is our most important event of the year to build relationships and educate attendees about our company and product options,” said Mr Menyhart.
“Over the past 18 months, we have grown our presence in the USA with a strong leadership group at the head of a 50 plus strong team.To date, we have already seen impressive sales growth, with many different models already on the road locally”.
“The Ride & Drive experience at the ACT Expo is the perfect point in case, with a Staples box truck and a FedEx Ground step van, demonstrating that we have already created significant progress with major corporations. However, there are many more major announcements in the pipeline with multiple large contracts, which will be revealed in due course”.
“One of the most exciting innovations we will display at the event is our in-house developed all-electric alternative for the Ford Step Van Class 6 (SV6) platform, which has massive potential in the delivery space.”
Alongside the SV6 chassis on display will be a SEA Hino M5 EV chassis, with the Ride & Drive section featuring a SEA Hino M5 EV (Staples box truck) and a SEA SV6 EV (FedEx Ground step van).
All four examples presented at the ACT Expo will be powered by the SEA-Drive® 120a, which is specified for cab/chassis platforms with a GVWR of 13,000lbs to 18,000lbs (Class 3-5), complete with a 1,106lb-ft electric motor.
The 138 kWh battery pack on the vehicles delivers a class-leading unladen range of up to 200 miles, and a typical break-even period of fewer than four years, without applicable grants and subsidies. The ACT Expo will also mark the first public event since leading transport drivetrain supplier Meritor announced its strategic investment and shareholding in SEA Electric this month.
To mark this occasion, a Meritor 14Xe ePowertrain will be displayed in the SEA Electric booth, with the system ideal in multiple installation types, including Class 8 refuse and linehaul trucks, Class 6-7 pickup and delivery, plus school bus applications.The investment by Meritor follows in the footsteps of Canadian power control solutions manufacturer Exro Technologies, who partnered with SEA Electric in February. Throughout the ACT Expo, SEA Electric can be visited in the Expo Hall at Stand 1627, while the Ride & Drive experience will be located in the Freeman Marshall Yard, from 11:00am to 2:00pm on Wednesday, September 1st.
Read the full press release at School Transportation News published on August 26, 2021.
The Brisbane Truck Show was a watershed moment for SEA Electric. At least, for its venture into the Australian market that is.
The company, now based in Los Angeles but with a manufacturing facility in Melbourne, rolled out six new models, five of which were trucks.
The sixth, was a new president for the Asia-Pacific region in Bill Gillespie, former driving force behind Hino’s recent market acceleration. All of the models were built from glider chassis units purchased from Hino in semi-knocked-down format. Gillespie, of course, was fully built up.
Significantly, the range on display covered weight ratings from 4500 to 22,500kgs GVM, giving the fledgling brand a wider range of electric trucks than any other brand in Australia.
Customer units were on show as well, underlining the wide array of applications that suit this locally developed and engineered EV solution.
Fortunately, just before the show Big Rigs had a wide-ranging interview with SEA Electric’s founder and owner, Tony Fairweather.
Fairweather is based in the US where the company is already producing trucks in a facility adjoining Hino’s plant in West Virginia (Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River . . .).
Speaking from New York in the middle of a Covid lockdown, Fairweather outlined the nine-year journey that turned an engineer’s musings on electric trucks into reality.
Fairweather had observed a UK company, Smith Electric teetering towards administration with what he felt was a deeply flawed model.
He started formalising his ideas, and after five years of planning, design and development the first SEA Electric truck was released in Australia. Since then, the company has moved to the US, established the first round of funding, commenced SKD manufacturing in the US and Australia, and is aiming its sights on a NASDAQ listing in the not-too-distant future.
Fairweather’s plans revolved around a key vulnerability of existing electric commercial vehicle platforms.
“Thermal management of the battery was the big issue for me,” he said. “Our plan was to deliver a package that was lighter, easier to maintain and able to be upscaled for other weight ranges at the lowest cost.”
SEA Electric says lowest total cost of ownership, lighter tare weight, and a tightly focused duty cycle are its primary assets.
The company has patent approval for its powertrain in six jurisdictions, with another 10, including the US, still in process.
“The patent includes 20 unique claims relating to the management of the powertrain, charging system, and control of ancillaries,” he told us.
Key to the battery pack is a voltage range restricted to between 388 and 450 volts, where no cooling system is required.
“High voltage systems are ineffective without their own cooling and heating system.”
Significantly, the duty cycle Fairweather is aiming at generally involves overnight charging, with adequate time to allow a slow charge.
Fast charging capability requires high voltage, a result of many EV solutions migrating from high performance passenger products.
That’s why, unlike other highly publicised electric truck developers, a SEA Electric truck won’t break any sprint records. It’ll out-accelerate an equivalent diesel truck, but excessive torque is just unnecessary cost as well as extra weight.
In the US, the Hino gliders move to a third-party modification company where the powertrain is fitted. The trucks are then sent out to established Hino dealers across the US.
Here, the company assembles three truck models from SKD packs in its own facility in Melbourne for sale through 12 dealerships.
The SEA Electric development has evolved in a way that marries engineering smarts to proven truck components and existing infrastructure.
If all goes to plan, it looks like delivering the goods for the decade that all-new fuel systems will take to become mainstream.
Read the full article at Big Rigs by David Meredith published on August 12, 2021.
TROY, Mich., Aug. 3, 2021 — Meritor, Inc. (NYSE: MTOR) today announced an equity investment in SEA Electric Holdings Pty Ltd. (“SEA Electric”), a global leader in commercial electric vehicles for urban delivery and logistics.
With global headquarters in Los Angeles, SEA Electric currently partners with commercial vehicle OEMs, dealers, operators and upfitters to deliver a range of zero-emissions trucks with remote mount electrification solutions to the medium and heavy-duty (Class 3-8) commercial vehicle market.
“This collaboration with SEA Electric gives us another path to apply our expertise in electrification solutions for the medium-duty market,” said Chris Villavarayan, CEO and president for Meritor.
“Meritor’s investment will help us to accelerate global sales efforts and strengthen the delivery and distribution transportation segment for vehicles that operate in urban and metropolitan areas,” said Tony Fairweather, president and founder, SEA Electric. “We are excited for Meritor to join us as a strategic investor and shareholder.”
SEA Electric is on schedule to deliver more than 500 electric commercial vehicles this year and plans to have more than 15,000 vehicles on the road by the end of 2023.
Read the full press release at Meritor published on August 3, 2021.