California Company Installs Electric Drive in Heavy-Duty Drayage Trucks

TransPower aims to move electric drives beyond light- and medium-duty

May 2014, - WebXclusive

by Deborah Lockridge, Editor-in-Chief - Also by this author

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California-based TransPower has installed its ElecTruck battery-electric drive system into the second of eight trucks of this design that it plans to convert this year and place into drayage service near the L.A./Long Beach ports.

The truck uses a next-generation electric drive system designed to meet the demands of drayage trucks. New features of this drive system include a dual-motor propulsion unit designed to provide up to 300 kilowatts (400 horsepower) of peak power, a 5-speed automated manual transmission, a unique power conversion and accessory assembly that replaces the truck engine, and a modular 270 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery subsystem using proprietary TransPower battery management software.

In what TransPower believes is an important “first” for an electric vehicle of this weight class, the truck was driven nonstop from TransPower’s headquarters in Poway, Calif., to be put on display Wednesday at the University of California, Riverside, as part of a “New Grid Testbed Opening Celebration."

During the 88.2-mile inter-city trip, the electric truck climbed some of the steepest grades in Southern California, achieved a top speed of 65 mph and consumed 1.3 kilowatt-hours of electricity per mile – about a quarter of the cost of using diesel fuel, according to the company.

While the truck was not pulling a trailer on this particular trip, the first TransPower truck of this series has pulled trailers with total vehicle weights of up to 75,000 pounds, and the two trucks have accumulated more than 1,000 miles of test operations since the beginning of this year.

This drive has been installed in an International ProStar Class 8 truck manufactured by Navistar.

Funding for TransPower’s electric drayage truck development has been provided by the California Energy Commission, U.S. Department of Energy, South Coast Air Quality Management District, and the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Transportation Power Inc., doing business as TransPower, is a privately held California company that develops and provides clean vehicle and stationary energy storage technologies and products. TransPower has developed a proprietary ElecTruck integrated electric drive system for large trucks, tractors, and buses.

TransPower is also developing its “Grid-Saver” fast energy storage system, designed to maximize commonality with TransPower’s electric vehicle products, including lithium battery modules, battery management systems, and energy management technology.  In addition, TransPower is developing drive products using state of the art hybrid-electric and fuel cell hybrid propulsion systems.


  1. 1. Quon Kwan [ May 22, 2014 @ 04:09AM ]

    Just to let folks know out there. FMCSA is working on completing a report on what critical saftey gaps need to be filled to address high voltage systems in commercial vehicles. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations at this time address only low voltage systems and lead-acid batteries in commercial vehicles and will have to be updated.


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