On the heels of a recent $42 million investment, SEA Electric is adding electric vehicle assembly capabilities in the U.S.
While SEA Electric’s roots originate in Australia, along with various manufacturing and technology capabilities, the company’s has U.S. upfitting facility locations in Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Indiana and California. California also recently became the new home for SEA Electric’s headquarters.
By adding further assembly capability in the U.S., the company has created the potential to assemble approximately 60,000 units per year. The company also has plans to expand its batter assembly capabilities, and will add a technical center in Des Moines, Iowa, and offices in Chicago, Brooklyn, New York, and Miami before August, SEA Electric officials said in a press release.
SEA Electric purchased 1,000 electric vehicle batteries from Soundon New Energy Technology to support the company’s SEA-Drive 70, 100, and 120 major power-system models. Most of the initial units are slated for the United States.
According to SEA Electric President and Founder Tony Fairweather, SEA Electric has not only created a low-cost delivery solution, but also developed a medium voltage/lightweight power system with performance outcomes that exceed the internal combustion engine equivalent.
“Our own SEA-badged trucks – including the SEA 300 and SEA 500 in Australia – are derived from OEM semi knock-down kits, creating further efficiencies to pass on to our customer base whilst supporting rapid OEM expansion into this segment,” said Fairweather.
SEA offers three medium-size electric truck models through a dozen authorized dealers in Australia, while more than 220 U.S. dealers are available to support the North American market needs.
Using Glider Kits for Electric-Truck Assembly
SEA Electric’s Glen Walker, vice president of the Asia Pacific, explained the commercial arrangement as a semi knock down (SKD) assembly operation – creating SKD glider kits – a three-way process that begins with the cab, frame rails, wheels and axle components arriving in Australia, within containers from Japan, and upon arrival being assembled to provide a rolling chassis to support the appropriate proprietary SEA-Drive power-system to create a completely assembled SEA Electric-branded vehicle. The vehicles are then ready for distribution.
“Our agreements in the U.S. go one step further,” said Walker. “We are utilizing SKD and local glider assembly to set the benchmark for ongoing programs in North America and other SEA Electric markets around the world.”
When containers in the United States arrive for SKD assembly, all electrification is then performed by authorized upfitters, solely using SEA-Drive power-system technology and branding. The process of building the trucks from SKD kits or glider chassis provides multiple advantages over the retrofit option, including lower cost, quicker build times and less waste, SEA Electric officials said.
SEA Electric’s proprietary SEA-Drive power systems come in a variety of configurations for all-electric models with a GVM range of 9,990 lbs. to 57,500 lbs. GVWR.
Each are designed for 3,000 charge cycles based on a full overnight charge, if applied five days per week, and can result in optimum performance for 10 years.