The Class 8 electric truck being piloted by Werner is powered by TransPower and Blue Horizon...

The Class 8 electric truck being piloted by Werner is powered by TransPower and Blue Horizon technology from Meritor.

Photo: Werner Enterprises

Werner Enterprises announced a pilot program to evaluate an electric-powered truck in year-long stint in southern California. The 2019 Peterbilt 579 EV Class 8 electric truck will run for a year on a dedicated account in the Los Angeles metro area.

Werner’s first electric-powered truck is the result of a partnership with Peterbilt, Meritor and TransPower. It is the first fully collision-mitigated TransPower truck, according to the company, and can haul up to 80,000 pounds. The truck is 100% electric and releases zero emissions.

The 579EV delivered to Werner uses a TransPower Energy Storage Subsystem with a total storage capacity of 352 kWh, according to Peterbilt. It is driven by a Meritor Blue-Horizon Mid-Ship Motor Drive Subsystem with up to 430 hp and features an estimated range of about 150 miles. Werner said it requires a five- to 10-hour charge time, but Peterbilt noted that it can charge in as little as one hour when a fast-charging system is used.

“Werner continues to be at the front edge of technology, and we are committed to finding alternative ways to keep our trucks environmentally friendly while using renewable energy,” said President and CEO Derek Leathers.

Funding for the tractor was provided by the California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, particularly in disadvantaged communities.

Nebraska-based Werner is among the five largest truckload carriers in the United States, with a diversified portfolio of transportation services that includes dedicated; medium-to-long-haul, regional and expedited van; and temperature-controlled. The Werner Logistics portfolio includes truck brokerage, freight management, intermodal, international and final mile services.

Peterbilt has its Model 579EV testing in fleets in drayage and regional haul applications. It's one of three electric trucks the company has in its electric test fleet; others include the Model 220EV and the Model 520 EV. Pricing and option availability for 579EVs will be available on the Peterbilt’s SmartSpec sales tool in the second half of 2020.

Editor's note: Updated 1/21/2020 with additional information on the truck specs from Peterbilt.

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