Autocar has added an advanced EV assembly line to its manufacturing facility in Birmingham, Alabama. The company said the new assembly line will “complement the brand’s handmade heritage.”
Blackstone Construction shaped and installed the structure for Autocar’s new EV line, with industrial engineering and technical expertise provided by Triz Advanced Manufacturing.
“When we set up the Birmingham plant in 2017, it was a significant moment for Autocar and we got it done in record time," said Andrew Taitz, chairman of Autocar. “Deepening the plant’s capabilities with our own EV assembly technology, developed by Triz Advanced Manufacturing, shows we have the talent, vision, and commitment to keep advancing with all market developments.”
Autocar's in-house-designed powerpacks and HV battery packs are the first EV powertrain components being assembled on the new line in Birmingham.
Taitz said he believes the new EV line empowers Autocar to keep delivering on customer expectations, regardless of powertrain choice.
“Our customers know, trust and expect Autocar quality,” he noted. “Whichever powertrain option Autocar customers choose, build quality is never optional. It’s a given. Assembling our battery packs in-house, on a dedicated EV line, is the latest technology commitment to our promise of Always Up, for all our trucks.”
Autocar’s new EV line leverages the experience and awareness of master assembly technicians with the benefits of a digitally enhanced assembly system. Throughout the build phases of the power units and battery packs, assembly technicians access digital confirmation terminals and scanners to validate the health of each truck’s battery and electrical architecture.
Autocar’s EV Terminal Tractor is the OEM’s first truck to benefit from components made using the Triz Advanced Manufacturing design. The trucks feature integrated power units and battery packs created in Birmingham, with the final assembly carried out in Hagerstown, where the E-ACTT terminal tractor is built.
Autocar said its portfolio of assembled EV components is scheduled to expand in the future, realizing the new EV line’s potential.
Last fall, the company built its first two refuse-truck alpha units with an all-electric powertrain. The two E-ACX battery-powered electric cabover refuse trucks have been going through a strict validation testing process to ensure the trucks can handle the same challenges and requirements as diesel and compressed natural gas counterparts.