The race to get a viable fully electric heavy-duty truck is still on, but the lower difficulty challenge of doing the same for medium-duty trucks appears to be coming to a close. Now, Peterbilt Motors Company joins the lineup of electric vehicles in the Class 6 and Class 7 markets, thanks to the Peterbilt Model 220EV.
Based on the design of the original Peterbilt Model 220, the 220EV is a cabover truck. It comes with two battery packs that allow the truck to travel 100 miles each, leading to a 200-mile range on a full charge.
It features an on-board charger that, when used properly, can recharge the battery packs in one to two hours, depending on circumstances. This charge rate of 100 to 200 miles per hour is a drastic improvement to conventional charging systems for cars, which trickle energy out at about four miles per hour.
While the Model 220EV is ideal for local pickup and delivery, short regional haul operations, and last-mile delivery, it is somewhat feasible as a long-distance delivery vehicle. If a trucker wanted to fulfill a day’s work, they could drive a full 200 miles before lunch, spend an hour at a diner, and then travel another 200 miles before dinner. This would require extensive planning as to where to park for a charge, but compared to but a decade ago where motor vehicles could not fully charge overnight, the system is a massive stride in progress.
Jason Skoog, Peterbilt general manager and vice president of PACCAR, had this to say on the Model 220EV:
“Peterbilt is leading the charge when it comes to commercial vehicle electrification featuring a full line up of EV Models, with over 30 out collecting real world miles. With the addition of the Model 220EV to our SmartSpec sales tool Peterbilt dealers can easily spec and quote exactly what customers have been asking for in a zero emission medium-duty truck.”
The Model 220EV can be custom-configured through Peterbilt’s SmartSpec sales tool and can be ordered at dealer locations, with fulfillment of those orders expected to begin before the end of 2020.
The race for the first fully electric Class 8 truck to reach the consumer market is still on, with companies such as Nikola and Tesla racing to get their factories built. While the medium-duty market is getting their fully electric vehicles soon, it may still be a few years before we get a heavy-duty truck: it seems every 12 months the anticipated release date gets pushed back 10 months.