@ACTExpo News Update: Daimler Truck NA, Lightning eMotors, Symbio, PACCAR, Toyota, Kenworth, Peterbilt, Carrier Transicold, Hyliion & ZF

At the ACT Expo there was more news until 1:00 pm today. Companies in on display with news include Daimler Truck NA, Lightning eMotors, Symbio, PACCAR, Toyota, Kenworth, Peterbilt, Carrier Transicold, Hyliion and ZF.

We will post news from the afternoon later.

DTNA Intros eM2

Freightliner, a leading manufacturer of medium- and heavy-duty trucks and a division of Daimler Truck North America LLC (DTNA), today unveiled the series production eM2 for pick-up and delivery applications, which is ready to order and will start production in fall this year. At the same time, Freightliner has introduced an innovation eM2 medium-duty truck with the goal to learn from real-world customer experiences in vocational applications.

“Expanding our electric product portfolio with the eM2 marks another historic moment for our customers and the industry on our joint journey to zero emissions,” said David Carson, senior vice president, sales and marketing, DTNA. “With its versatility, the eM2 will be the perfect fit for pick-up and delivery customers who require an adaptable electric solution. Our vocational innovation vehicles are designed to set the stage to expand eM2 coverage into additional customer applications in the future.”

The Industry’s Best. Electrified.

Built on the best-selling M2 106 Plus platform and introduced on the heels of the series production Freightliner eCascadia Class 8 tractor, the Class 6/7 eM2 expands CO2-neutral transportation to the medium-duty segment. With decades of proven manufacturing know-how and innovation integrated into its electric vehicle program, DTNA is beginning full production of the Detroit-powered eM2 for pickup and delivery applications in fall of 2023 at its Portland truck manufacturing plant.

“Utilizing the production experience from the eCascadia, the eM2 is the result of extensive co-creation with our customers and years of real-world testing,” said Rakesh Aneja, vice president and chief of eMobility, DTNA. “For pick-up and delivery applications, the eM2 has a typical range of 180 miles for the Class 6 version and 250 miles for Class 7, and represents a reliable, efficient and sustainable solution.”

Power of Choice: Built for Quiet Efficiency.

The eM2 is built on Detroit’s legacy of powertrain innovation, and features a proprietary, fully integrated, battery electric Detroit ePowertrain, including Detroit eAxles and batteries. The vehicle minimizes energy cost per mile by removing the drivetrain and other mechanical components in favor of a lighter, simpler design, which packages the electric motors and 2-speed transmission directly onto the drive axles. Multiple battery size options are available, allowing customers to find the right balance between range/runtime and price:

  • Class 6 single motor: provides up to 190 continuous hp, a 194 kWh battery and a typical range of 180 miles on one charge
  • Class 7 dual-motor: provides up to 255 continuous hp, a 291 kWh battery and a typical range of 250 miles on one charge

Powered by zero-emission technology, the eM2 delivers goods quietly through neighborhoods and urban areas, without the sounds of a diesel engine accelerating or idling. For customers who require refrigeration configurations, an electric power takeoff (ePTO) option is available, enabling a choice of refrigeration units that can run on energy from the vehicle’s high voltage battery.

Safety Drivers and Operators Demand. Connectivity They Need.

Thanks to its proprietary battery side impact protection and the Detroit Assurance suite of safety systems, the following safety features now come standard with the eM2 and elevate the level of safety in the medium-duty segment:

  • Active Brake Assist (ABA) 5.0
  • Tailgate Warning
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) to 0 mph
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Intelligent High-Beams
  • Automatic Wipers/Headlamps
  • Side Guard Assist

The eM2’s modern, intuitive dash and easy touch-screen interface make it an ideal choice for fleets and drivers who need to stay productive on the road. With its smooth acceleration and low noise levels, the electric powertrain provides an impressive driving experience that reduces fatigue and makes the transition to electric easy for drivers in a range of industries.

Equipped with state-of-the-art connected vehicle offerings, Detroit Connect, which offers new eServices and provides charging information and vehicle health data in real time, the eM2 allows fleet managers to:

  • Plan new routes with real-time range prediction, updating automatically for traffic, weather, topography, and other conditions
  • Monitor battery health and state-of-charge for multiple units in real-time
  • Collect data for post-trip analysis reports, which can help coach drivers to maximize energy efficiency and battery lifespan

Rigorously Tested. Ready for Delivery Today.

The eM2 follows proven manufacturing processes that have been used for decades, allowing for scalability. Built on the best-selling medium-duty platform and co-created with customers to meet the needs of real-world fleets, the eM2 is built to the same rigorous standards as all Freightliner trucks. The eM2 underwent extensive summer and winter testing as well as rough road and crash tests to be able to operate under various conditions and temperatures.

Along with the eCascadia, the eM2 also accumulated more than 1.5 million test miles in customer innovation and experience fleets driven in a variety or real-world applications in almost 50 real fleets operating across the West Coast, New Jersey and Canada. These customer trials have transformed the testing process by collecting real-world vehicle performance experience, while also providing those companies a chance to test the integration of battery electric trucks into their own fleets.

Expanding Solutions to Vocational Segment.

Continuing its effort to gain real-world experiences, DTNA will begin running an eM2 vocational innovation program with leaders in the Truck Equipment Manufacturing industry and their customers to focus on providing zero-emission solutions for the unique requirements of vocational customers and applications. This program particularly targets the utility, sweeper, dump, towing and recovery, and refuse segments and will be packaged and designed for maximum frame space utilization with minimal impact on upfit, especially in the utility segment.

The goal with the eM2 vocational innovation program is to offer operators the familiarity and experience of the M2 chassis while allowing for consistency and ease in the transition to battery electric operations.

The eM2 vocational innovation vehicles are validating new target specifications with work truck customers in the real world (actual production vehicle specifications are subject to ongoing tests):

  • Up to 330 kWh of usable battery capacity
  • Target of 150 miles range, depending on the application
  • Wheelbases between 155-inch and 220-inch
  • Only 10-inch of back-of-cab protrusion space for battery
  • Both electric and mechanical ePTO options to support hydraulic and battery-powered body equipment using the vehicle’s HV battery
    • A mechanical PTO option offers flexibility, lowers barriers to entry, and allows a faster-to-market eM2 for the vocational customer. The PTO is the same interface as customers use today with their diesel Freightliner M2s, allowing for ease of integration and operator acceptance.

DTNA maintains its long-standing commitment to the vocational market segment and understands its unique challenges across its multiple applications, which drives its effort to provide best-in-class solutions to its customers.

Supporting Customers as They Prepare for Electric.

Having worked with many Freightliner customers over the last several years to transition their commercial trucking fleets to electric, a team of experts, Detroit eConsultants, are able to connect the dots for customers including right-sizing infrastructure, choosing ideal chargers, navigating rebates and incentives, assisting with site selection, providing connectivity insights, and offering photovoltaic and energy storage options, and more. They also introduce customers to the comprehensive line of Detroit eFill Chargers, evaluate duty cycles, and help identify ways to put eM2 trucks to work efficiently.

Detroit’s Charger Management System (CMS) provides fleet managers with the insights to understand their fleets’ energy consumption patterns and create a charging schedule that reduces cost per mile.

Freightliner also maintains the leading dealer network in North America, which is well prepared for the transition to battery electric vehicles. With over 90 percent of the Freightliner dealer base having completed a proprietary EV Masters Sales training course, dealers are fully equipped to answer EV questions and evaluate the best use cases for eCascadia and eM2 applications, as well as identify potentially relevant EV rebates in a specialized database.

Over 1,400 dealership technicians are trained today in high-voltage (HV) safety as dealers are proactively preparing to service eCascadia and eM2. This is supported by DTNA’s fleet and field service managers who are working hand in hand with customers and network partners. DTNA Parts is ramping up stock on eMobility components, leveraging its 10 parts distribution centers across North America, with a dedicated delivery service that averages 12-hour delivery on 90 percent of parts ordered.

Where private funding options are needed to support commercial EV deployments, Daimler Truck Financial offers a full suite of financing products specifically tailored to both vehicles and charging infrastructure, including lease and retail loan options, customer revolving lines of credit, floorplan financing, and construction and real estate loans. The lease structure allows for a decrease in the initial up-front investment, making electric vehicles more accessible for fleets of all sizes and helps to control costs moving in to electric with predictable payments and the usual lease-related backend risk terms and conditions.

Lightning eMotors Produces Type A EV School Bus Ready for Funding

Lightning eMotors today announced at ACT Expo it has started production of its highly anticipated GM-based Type A EV school bus.

Lightning eMotors (NYSE: ZEV), a leading provider of zero-emission, medium-duty commercial vehicles and electric vehicle (EV) technology for fleets, has begun production of a next generation Type A electric school bus built on the GM platform.

Initial orders for nearly 70 next generation Type A school buses have begun moving across the production floor in Lightning eMotors’ 130,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Loveland, Colorado. Purchased by over 20 school districts across the U.S., many of these zero-emission, all electric buses are leveraging state funding and/or the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program, which is providing school districts with $5 billion between 2022 and 2026 to incentivize the electrification of school buses. These funds can be stacked with the IRA commercial vehicle incentive, which gives schools $40,000 per electric vehicle, providing schools with electric school buses without the need for special budget referendums or increasing taxes. These districts are among more than 650 school districts from around the country that have committed to electrifying their fleets.

“Thanks to federal EPA and IRA funding, as well as an increasing number of state-level initiatives, clean school transportation is now truly a nationwide phenomenon,” said Kash Sethi, chief revenue officer for Lightning eMotors. “We’re actively supporting school districts nationally to leverage this opportunity and, as a result, we’re ramping up production and rolling out school buses in communities across the country and are expecting an active sales pipeline.”

Lightning is producing electric school buses on its next generation Lightning ZEV4™, built on the versatile GM 4500 platform. All Lightning ZEV4 models come equipped with 120 kWh batteries packaged safely between the frame rails. Each powertrain delivers 241 horsepower, 790 lb-ft of torque and a range of up to 130 miles. The ZEV4 is also capable of both Level 2 AC and 80 kW DC fast charging, and is V2G compatible.

“We’ve come a long way since first announcing our collaboration with GM last year to electrify GM-based class 3-6 vehicles for commercial applications, including our ZEV4 school buses,” said Lightning eMotors CEO Tim Reeser. “Working with partners like GM to ramp up production and roll out electric school buses across the U.S. is just another example of how we are leading in commercial vehicle electrification, with more medium-duty electric vehicles on the road than anyone else.”

In addition to the financial benefits related to state- and federal-level funding initiatives like the Inflation Reduction Act and the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program, there are major environmental and health benefits associated with reduced tailpipe emissions. Current economic realities also make electric school buses more appealing than ever. At a time when interest rates, fuel prices and the costs of parts and labor for repairs are at all-time highs, electric buses use no fossil fuels and require less maintenance, thereby reducing total cost of ownership when replacing aging diesel buses or adding new buses to school bus fleets.

With more than 600 electric vehicles deployed overall, Lightning eMotors has accelerated the deployment of commercial electric vehicles by providing proven technology, best-in-class reliability, end-to-end EV services, and world class support that simplifies fleet electrification. To date, Lightning vehicles have surpassed 4 million total real-world miles, mitigating nearly 5.5 million pounds of on-road C02 emissions.

To learn how to electrify your fleet with Lightning eMotors, please visit lightningemotors.com.

CARB Grant to Symbio

Symbio, a leader in hydrogen fuel cell technology, is announcing today that it has received a $9 million grant from the California Energy Commission for a new manufacturing facility in Temecula, California to assemble fuel cell vehicles and heavy-duty fuel cell power systems.

The Temecula 32,000 square feet facility will assemble regional heavy-duty fuel cell Class 8 trucks, medium duty fuel cell vehicles, as well as fuel cell power systems, and will create 63 permanent skilled manufacturing positions over 3 years.
Symbio expects the plant will be operational by 2024 and with a maximum production capacity of 250 trucks and 2,000 fuel cell power systems per year.

Symbio is displaying its technology at the ACT Expo this week in Anaheim, Calif. alongside its joint venture partner, FORVIA, in booth 7063.

PACCAR & Toyota FCEV with Kenworth & Peterbilt

PACCAR and Toyota Motor North America, Inc. (Toyota) today announced an expansion of their joint efforts to develop and produce zero emissions, hydrogen fuel cell (FCEV) Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks powered by Toyota’s next-generation hydrogen fuel cell modules. The expanded agreement supports ongoing development and commercialized zero-emission versions of the Kenworth T680 and Peterbilt 579 models featuring Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell powertrain kit, with initial customer deliveries planned for 2024.

PACCAR and Toyota have collaborated on FCEV truck development for the past several years, including a successful pilot program which deployed ten Kenworth T680 FCEV trucks at the Port of Los Angeles. The pilot provided both Kenworth and Toyota with real-world feedback that further enhanced the performance and range of the vehicle. Designed for use in heavy-duty commercial vehicles, Toyota’s heavy-duty fuel cell electric powertrain kit was recently awarded the Zero Emission Powertrain certification by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Toyota will begin assembly of the modules in the United States in late 2023.

John Rich, PACCAR chief technology officer, commented, “Having worked extensively with the Toyota team, we are confident that our combined efforts can deliver industry-leading FCEV trucks with all of the quality, reliability and aftermarket support that Kenworth and Peterbilt customers depend upon. This partnership further expands PACCAR’s industry-leading lineup of zero emissions vehicles that enhance customers’ operational efficiency and reduce their environmental impact.”

“We are excited to work with PACCAR to realize a future where Toyota’s industry-leading hydrogen fuel cell technology can power heavy-duty trucks that will travel across highways throughout the U.S. with zero emissions,” said Christopher Yang, TMNA group vice president of Business Development. “This innovative technology enables us to provide our commercial customers with a viable carbon-neutral option to further their business, while also contributing to Toyota’s mission to reduce and ultimately eliminate carbon from the environment.”

PFG, Navistar, Great Dane, Carrier & Transicold

Performance Food Group Company (PFG) (NYSE: PFGC), Navistar, Great Dane and Carrier Transicold, part of Carrier Global Corporation (NYSE: CARR), have collaborated to launch a commercial evaluation program using all-electric refrigeration technology on a battery-electric truck for sustainable, direct-emissions-free distribution of refrigerated and frozen food.

The technology is featured at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo.

PFG’s solution features Carrier Transicold’s ground-breaking Supra eCool™ electric truck refrigeration unit, an International® eMV™ Series battery-electric truck with a factory-installed ePower electrical system and a 22-foot Alpine S-Series insulated body by Great Dane. The truck will serve PFG operations in California, supporting the food service distributor’s sustainability initiatives while marking an important step toward compliance with new regulations requiring adoption of zero-direct emission truck refrigeration technologies in the state.

This collaboration will help PFG realize the potential of transformative battery-electric technologies.

Control interface commonalities between the Supra eCool unit and the traditional Supra diesel units used by PFG will help its drivers transition to all-electric refrigeration.

Hyliion Hypertruck Semi Truck with Range Extender

Hyliion Holdings Corp. (NYSE: HYLN) (“Hyliion”), a leader in electrified powertrain solutions for Class 8 commercial semi-trucks, today announced the unveiling of its groundbreaking Hypertruck KARNO demonstration vehicle at the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo (“ACT”) in Anaheim, California on May 2, 2023. The featured semi-truck employs a first-of-its-kind electric range extender powertrain that can be refueled with both hydrogen and natural gas.

“At Hyliion, we are delivering practical solutions that cater to fleets’ current needs while continually developing cutting-edge products that seize the opportunities of tomorrow,” commented Thomas Healy, Founder and CEO of Hyliion. “While our focus remains on the 2023 production launch of the Hypertruck ERX™, a renewable natural gas electric range extender powertrain, we are also developing the Hypertruck KARNO as part of our transition to offer fleets fuel flexibility,” Healy added.

The KARNO generator is expected to show an improvement in fuel efficiency and a significantly lower emissions profile versus conventional generators. It will also be capable of operating on over 20 different fuels including hydrogen, natural gas, propane, ammonia and conventional fuels.

Hyliion acquired the KARNO generator technology from GE Additive last August to provide a next-generation generator for integration into its powertrain platform and to be used for distributed grid stationary power applications. The KARNO technology is a linear motor heat generator that leverages advanced 3D metal printed components and proprietary flameless oxidation technology to produce clean electricity.

In ACT booth 6327, Hyliion will display the Hypertruck KARNO demo truck and offer comprehensive technology overviews. Additionally, Hyliion will feature the Hypertruck ERX powertrain solution as part of the expo’s ride & drive experience. Both the Hypertruck ERX system and Hypertruck KARNO leverage Hyliion’s state-of-the-art electric powertrain but offer distinct onboard power generation technologies.

The exhibited Hypertruck KARNO vehicle is intended for product demonstration at ACT Expo and will be subsequently used for continued development, testing and validation. This vehicle underscores Hyliion’s commitment to a net-carbon-negative global commercial transportation industry.

Ryder Intros RyderElectric

Ryder System, Inc. (NYSE: R), a leader in supply chain, dedicated transportation, and fleet management solutions, today unveils RyderElectric+TM as its new turnkey electric vehicle (EV) fleet solution. The new offering navigates the EV landscape for customers and provides electrification advisors, vehicles, charging, telematics, and maintenance all for one price. During ACT Expo in Anaheim, Calif., Ryder will introduce RyderElectric+ at its exhibit (booth #5229) at 11:30am PT where attendees will learn firsthand how the company is acting as an advocate for its customers and powering the future of transportation with a unique solution that simplifies adding EVs to any fleet.

“By combining our expertise, advisory services, and relationships with vehicle manufacturers and charging companies, as well as our integration with telematics providers, we help companies build and maintain an electric fleet that fits their needs,” says Karen Jones, Ryder CMO and head of new product innovation. “We aim to help make the integration of electric vehicles as seamless as possible by offering solutions that are streamlined through one provider at one cost.”

By partnering with customers throughout the full journey of fleet electrification, RyderElectric+ will serve as a centralized source for Ryder’s best-in-class fleet-management services in financing, facility infrastructure, charging, and maintenance for commercial EVs. This includes electrification advisors designed to help customers assess vehicle fit, estimate potential emission reduction and total cost impact, evaluate charging service requirements, provide guidance on availability of potential grants, and build out an EV transition roadmap. The new solution also provides access to Ryder’s inventory of advanced vehicle technology that would include financing, warranty, and safety options, as well as the company’s national maintenance footprint, 24/7 emergency roadside assistance, on-the-road usage/telematics for fleet insights, and EV chargers at select Ryder locations.

“As demand and adoption of commercial EVs continues to accelerate across the transportation and logistics industries, this latest offering provides Ryder customers with an end-to-end solution for zero-emission commercial fleet management, deployment, fueling, and maintenance,” adds Carlo Rodriguez, group director for advanced vehicle technology for Ryder.

Ryder recently announced its plan to introduce 4,000 BrightDrop Zevo 600 and Zevo 400 electric vans to its lease and rental fleet through 2025. To date, Ryder’s current fleet and options of advance vehicle technology include Ford E-Transits, Navistar eMV, Lonestar EVs with Dana’s electric powertrain, and Freightliner MT50e, eM2, and eCascadia. Ryder also has Tesla Semi tractors reserved and continues to work with multiple OEM’s to provide new EV solutions to its customers.///

ZF Premieres AxTrax 2 Electric Axles

At the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo, ZF premiered its all-new AxTrax 2 electric axle platform. The integrated and modular e-powertrain system for light, medium and heavy-duty vehicles is ZF’s latest e-mobility solution to help support the industry’s transformation toward a more sustainable future. Series production of AxTrax 2 is planned to begin in the U.S. in 2025, and in Europe in late 2024.

“Customers are under tremendous pressure to implement zero emission technology, and our e-mobility kit allows them to electrify existing platforms, and develop purpose-built platforms, delivering superior total cost of ownership,” said Julien Plenchette, senior vice president, Americas, Commercial Vehicle Solutions, ZF Group. “AxTrax 2 is a technology we are incredibly proud of and have been looking forward to offering to the North American market for quite some time. It is an exciting day to bring a portfolio of solutions to customers that supports the business case for electrified commercial vehicles.”

AxTrax 2 is an axle-based, fully integrated system, featuring a compact design to help maximize the available space for batteries and enhance manufacturer’s design flexibility for future vehicle concepts. AxTrax 2 can be fully synchronized with key vehicle functions, including braking, ADAS and automated driving systems, to help enhance vehicle safety and efficiency. It also enables advanced digital and telematics systems via CAN bus to communicate and share e-axle system information.

AxTrax 2 platform is offered in two variants: AxTrax 2 with one e-drive* and AxTrax 2 dual with two integrated e-drives. AxTrax 2 will cover class 5-7 commercial vehicles with a single e-axle in a 4×2 or 6×2 or even up to class 8 with two e-axles in 6×4 configuration. Both models of AxTrax 2 are designed to replace the engine, transmission, drive shaft, differential and conventional axle to electrify a commercial vehicle. This line-up enables opportunities to reimagine commercial vehicle form, function, and architecture, enhancing aerodynamics, enabling automation, or adding battery capacity.

E-powertrain solutions for every application

ZF offers a complete portfolio of e-mobility solutions. By leveraging a unique, scalable, and modular platform approach, with in-house developed key components, ZF can deliver a suite of e-powertrain solutions to help customers electrify all classes of commercial vehicles in various applications, from current conventional vehicle architecture to advanced and reimagined designs.

In addition, ZF offers in-house developed e-components specifically designed to meet the requirements of the commercial vehicle market. Modularity enables manufacturers to use ZF’s full e-powertrain systems, or alternatively ‘mix and match’ their own components, while taking advantage of synergies and common interfaces. These include: e-motor, silicon carbide (SiC) inverter, e-drive control unit, e-actuator and multi-speed transmission.

“ZF has more than 100 years of experience in the global commercial vehicle industry and 30 years in electric driveline technology. These products and designs reap the benefits of our extensive experience in vehicle electrification as well as high volume manufacture of electrification products,” explained Christian Feldhaus, director of Commercial Vehicle Driveline Systems, Americas, ZF Group. “With products located in North America to support customers in this region, we can help ensure USMCA requirements are met.”

Electrified products for commercial vehicles

ZF will not only display e-powertrains at ACT Expo, but will also display complimentary products such as: ZF’s ReAX Adaptive Steering, EPS fully electric steering and eWorX – an Electric Power Take-Off System (ePTO). Additionally, a fully functional eWorX system is on display at ACT Expo in the Lion Electric Booth #5689.*