Kenworth's T680E Class 8 electric tractor is reported to be a short-hood day cab in tractor with an operating range between 100 to 150 miles, depending on application. - Photo: Kenworth

 Kenworth's T680E Class 8 electric tractor is reported to be a short-hood day cab in tractor with an operating range between 100 to 150 miles, depending on application.

Photo: Kenworth

Kenworth announced it will collaborate with Meritor on electric powertrain development for Class 8 Kenworth T680E battery-electric vehicles, following a recent announcement of a partnership between Paccar and Meritor.

The electric Kenworth T680E will be available as a short-hood day cab in tractor configurations of 4x2 and 6x4 axles and as a 6x4 axle straight truck. The truck will offer fleets an operating range between 100 to 150 miles, depending on application.

“The Kenworth T680E development in collaboration with Meritor is a major advanced technology step in Kenworth’s evolution of zero-emission electric powertrain solutions for our customers,” said Kevin Baney, Kenworth general manager and Paccar vice president. “Initial production of the Kenworth T680E is expected to begin in the fourth quarter 2020 and ramp through 2021.”

“We look forward to working closely with Kenworth to help develop the Kenworth T680E as an important, viable battery-electric answer for the day cab market,” said T.J. Reed, vice president of Global Electrification for Meritor.

The announcement is the latest in a series of electronification partnerships between Meritor and Paccar, the parent company of both Kenworth and Peterbilt.

On Jan. 30, Meritor announced it will supply Paccar with electric powertrain components for electric versions of the Kenworth T680 and Peterbilt 579 and 520 models. Per that agreement, Meritor will be Paccar’s to be its non-exclusive supplier of electric powertrains for its Kenworth T680 and Peterbilt 579 and 520 battery-electric vehicles.

Under the auspices of the agreement, Meritor will be the initial launch partner and primary supplier for the integration of functional battery-electric systems on these refuse and heavy-duty chassis. Production is targeted to begin in early 2021.

Meritor has been making moves to bolster its presence in the rapidly evolving commercial vehicle electrification market independent of its OEM relationships. Also in January, the company announced it had acquired all the outstanding common shares of Transportation Power Inc., better known as TransPower.

The company said the addition of TransPower to its portfolio "aligns with the values of Meritor's Blue Horizon brand," the company's platform of advanced technologies centered on electrification.

“The opportunity to equip Kenworth and Peterbilt battery-electric vehicles with Meritor’s products allows us to partner with a valued customer and to continue bringing advanced technologies to market,” said T.J. Reed, vice president of Global Electrification for Meritor. “We look forward to delivering on our goal to be the premier supplier of electrification technologies for commercial vehicles.”

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