Posted by Jason Cartwright on March 2, 2020
SEA Electric make fully electric commercial vehicles and are quickly gaining international attention. While the sexy consumer battles of Tesla vs Porsche get plenty of headlines, the transition of commercial vehicles to electric powertrains is likely more difficult challenge and one Australians are not shying away from.
The Aussie company achieved another important milestone this week, with the successful granting of the patent for its SEA-Drive technology in Australia. The ‘Management System for Commercial Electric Vehicles’ patent was granted on the 28th of February 2020 after the initial submission on the 18th April 2017 (yep, our patent office works quickly).
The patent covers a management system for a commercial electric vehicle (EV), comprising:
- A controller area network (CAN) comprising a plurality of CAN buses connected to a plurality of components of the EV.
- A vehicle controller connected to the CAN and configured to monitor and/or control the plurality of components of the EV based on CAN signals.
Wherein the plurality of CAN buses and their respective components comprise:
- A drive CAN bus connected to a motor controller system comprising a motor controller connected to an electric motor.
- A battery CAN bus connected to a battery system comprising a high−voltage (HV) battery.
- A telematics CAN bus connected to a telematics system.
Wherein the vehicle controller is further configured to:
- Measure operating temperature of the motor controller and adjust the speed of a cooling pump and a radiator fan to maintain a predetermined operating temperature.
- Monitor a state of battery contactors of the HV battery and optimize an amount of time required to start the EV.
The milestone is the culmination of many years of research, product development and system optimization. This was reached after tens of thousands of miles of testing on SEA Electric’s generation 1 power-system technology, combined with the now patented generation 2 power-system, known as SEA-Drive.
The company now has more than a million miles of performance validation data to show it’s benefits of performance, cost and weight.
“Our overnight success has been almost a decade in the making and is a credit to the incredible team built by SEA Electric. Australian Universities have recognized the importance of this automotive segment and have invested in producing some of the best electric vehicle engineering talent in the world.
Our employees are practically, intellectually and emotionally invested in finding solutions to the real-world problems associated with hydrocarbon fueled commercial vehicles.”
SEA Electric’s Founder and President, Tony Fairweather reflects.
SEA Electric’s SEA-Drive technology is patent pending in another 15 countries/regions, and it is expected further approvals like Australia’s will come into effect throughout 2020.
“With the granting of this patent, SEA Electric further enhances its reputation as a Commercial Electric Vehicle innovator and disruptor. The SEA-Drive technology is designed to exceed the unique performance requirements of commercial vehicles and it is a proven alternative power train to existing hydrocarbon fueled solutions.
SEA Electric is continuing to develop, enhance and deploy its electric SEA-Drive technology in collaboration with like-minded OEM’s across a range of van and truck-based platforms in all major global markets.”
Glen Walker, Regional Director for SEA Electric’s Oceania Region
SolarQuotes Blog, February 25,2020 by Michael Bloch
What’s said to be South Australia’s first zero-emissions electric-powered kerbside garbage and recycling collection truck went into service in Adelaide last week.
The truck was supplied by Queensland-headquartered Superior Pak and uses drivetrain technology from Victoria’s SEA Electric, which is enjoying significant success with its commercial EV solutions both locally and overseas.
Zero emissions are great, but this truck is also expected to save East Waste a chunk of change.
“It is much more than a terrific environmental initiative by East Waste,” said General Manager Rob Gregory . “It will deliver financial gain to better manage the cost of kerbside collections of recyclable resources and waste.”
Valued at approximately $550,000, the EV cost $150,000 more than a diesel truck, but East Waste has conservatively projected it will save more than $220,000 over its seven year life compared to a diesel truck – so net savings of $70,000 or $10,000 a year. This is due in part to the difference in “fuel” costs, and maintenance costs reduced by at least two-thirds. East Waste points out the savings could be higher if the cost of diesel goes up and the truck lasts more than seven years, which is expected.
What’s Charging It?
Electricity used for recharging the truck is being offset by a 36kW solar power system at East Waste’s Ottaway depot. Details weren’t provided on how much energy the truck will consume over a typical day or whether the solar panels will generate equivalent to its requirements, but the solar system should crank out somewhere in the region of 56.8 megawatt-hours of electricity annually.
Even if the solar panels don’t cover all its energy use (and my guess is they won’t, making the zero emissions claim debatable), South Australia’s electricity supply is becoming increasingly cleaner – more than half of the state’s generation is from wind and solar energy.
Emissions reduction and financial savings aside, another advantage of using electric trucks for rubbish and recycling runs is they are much quieter. This means you’ll be able to hear the emptying of the neighbour’s recycling bin full of empty stubbies more clearly.
East Waste is a subsidiary of seven metropolitan Adelaide councils: the cities of Burnside, Campbelltown, Mitcham, Norwood, Payneham & St Peters and Prospect, the Town of Walkerville and Adelaide Hills Council.
Other Electric Waste Collection Trucks In Australia
Another electric recycling truck featuring SEA electric drivetrain technology, this one for SUEZ in Western Australia, has a 230kWh battery providing more than 200 kilometre driving range before recharge – but there’s lots of stopping and starting with this sort of activity. SEA Electric says it will be capable of 1,200 bin lifts a day.