Peterbilt has electric trucks in the hands of customers, like this one, and plans to start taking orders next year.
 - Photo by Deborah Lockridge

Peterbilt has electric trucks in the hands of customers, like this one, and plans to start taking orders next year.

Photo by Deborah Lockridge

Projecting to end 2019 with near-record Class 8 market share and record-setting medium-duty market share, Peterbilt is looking to the strength of the vocational market for 2020 to help it continue that success, while adding new uptime-related initiatives and planning to have electric trucks in production by the end of next year.

General Manager Jason Skoog said in remarks at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta that he expects 2020 Class 8 sales to drop to a more normal level of 230,000-260,000, compared to the 310,000-320,000 expected for 2019, while medium-duty is expected to remain around the same 110,000 units being sold this year. In meetings at the American Trucking Associations’ annual management conference earlier in the month, he said, large fleets said they wanted to continue to keep their fleet average age under two years.

With the addition of the Peterbilt 579 Ultraloft last year, Skoog said, “no other OE has a wider range of Class 8 trucks available. That makes me bullish in our ability to continue to grow market share.”

Peterbilt expects to end 2019 at about 15% Class 8 market share, just shy of its 15.3% record in 2017, and to surpass its previous high of 9% market share in medium-duty this year.

Peterbilt Electric Trucks

In 2020 Peterbilt also will have three battery-electric truck models available for sale by the end of the year. Right now it has 12 electric trucks in operations with fleets, and will have 36 by the end of the first quarter – Model 220EV, Model 520EV for refuse applications, and Model 579EV for Class 8.

Trucks from two customers were on display at the show: a Model 579EV is currently in use by third-party logistics provider Biagi Bros., and a Model 220EV recently added to the Frito-Lay, PepsiCo fleet.

The 579EV uses a TransPower Energy Storage Subsystem with a total storage capacity of 264 kWh. It is driven by a Meritor Blue-Horizon Mid-Ship Motor Drive Subsystem with up to 430 hp, features a range of about 133 miles and a charging time of 1-hour with a fast-charging system.

The Model 220EV is powered by two TransPower battery packs with a total storage capacity of 148 kWh, and a Meritor Blue-Horizon two-speed drive eAxle with up to 335 hp. It features a range of more than 100 miles and a recharge time as low as one hour with a fast-charging system, making it an ideal option for local pick-up and delivery operations.

Also on display was a Model 520EV configuration, designed for the refuse market. The Model 520EV is powered by a TransPower Energy Storage Subsystem with a total storage capacity of 308 kWh. It is driven by a TransPower Mid-Ship Motor Drive Subsystem with up to 430 HP, features a range of about 100 miles and a four-hour charge time.

Peterbilt Strong in Vocational Market

Skoog projects the vocational market will be strong in 2020, with new home construction at a decade-long high. “I also have seen recent economic data showing that supply of new homes is at a decade low as well,” leading to a supply-demand situation that should lead to more construction. “Commercial construction still seems to be strong. We can sit here and hope an infrastructure dal gets done, but I think even without that, the vocational market is strong.

“If you look at Polk [vehicle registration] data, if you combine refuse and vocational, we are the market leader at 22% market share.” Peterbilt’s strong medium-duty sales also play into its strength in the vocational market, he said, with the Model 348 playing well in vocational applications.

Peterbilt announced in Atlanta that it has expanded the availability of the Paccar 12-speed automated transmission for use in vocational applications where the truck spends most of its time on pavement or maintained dirt and gravel roads, such as roll-offs, bottom dump trailers and heavy equipment transport.

The transmission is currently spec’d in about 60% of Peterbilt’s on-highway Model 579s, Skoog said.

In the new applications, the Paccar Transmission will be available with the Paccar MX-11 or MX-13 with up to 510 hp and 1,850 lb-ft of torque. Maximum gross combined weight will be 110,000 pounds. The new configurations are available to order now for 2020 delivery.

Uptime Initiatives

Skoog highlighted a number of uptime initiatives embarked upon in recent years by Peterbilt and its dealers, including SmartLinq Remote Diagnostics in 2015, Peterbilt mobile service, and the addition of Paccar Solutions Service Management last year.

Now Peterbilt is adding over-the-air updates for Paccar MX engines and aftertreatment systems beginning in December, and a new Platinum Service Center program to identify the company’s best dealers.

Over-the-air updates will leverage the existing SmartLinq Remote Diagnostics hardware and the Paccar Solutions portal, along with a new mobile app, to deliver secure software updates remotely.

It will be available to Class 8 Peterbilt customers with an engine model year 2017 or newer Paccar MX-11 or MX-13 Engine and an active SmartLinq subscription.

The Platinum Service Center program, coming in 2020, scores each dealership location based on several key objective performance factors, such as:

  • Driver lounges
  • Use of Paccar Solutions
  • Expanded service hours
  • Mobile service
  • Certified MX engine technicians
  • Dwell time
  • Rapid Check triage
  • Parts availability

New Features for Wingman Fusion

Peterbilt also announced that the latest generation of the Bendix Wingman Fusion collision-mitigation system, standard on the Model 579, has additional features starting in the first quarter of 2020.

• Highway Departure Braking: Building on the Fusion system’s existing lane departure warning system, HDB provides an audible alert to the driver and, if necessary, applies the foundation braks to reduce vehicle speed if it determines the truck has left the roadway unintentionally.

• Multi-Lane Automatic Emergency Braking can help the driver mitigate both the first, and potentially second, crash situation when more than one highway lane is blocked. Once a collision mitigation braking event begins and the driver steers into the next lane to avoid the vehicle ahead of him or her, the new feature continues to apply the brakes if it detects another vehicle blocking the path in the new traffic lane.

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