If you thought electric vehicles and PHEVd are just for commuter cars, you haven’t been plugged in to some of the biggest news in electrification. EVs are being super-sized, with up to 1,000 horsepower and 300 miles or more on a single battery charge.
Tesla made news recently with the introduction of a huge Semi with a 300-mile range from its equally huge batteries. The Tesla truck is scheduled to go into production in late 2018 or early 2019, with a $150,000 pricetag, and $180,000 for the longer-range model.
Anheuser-Busch, the maker of Budweiser beer, reportedly placed an order for 40, and Sysco Corporation, the foodservice distribution company, has ordered 50, as part of a commitment to reduce environmental impact for its global operations, and Pepsico has pre-ordered 100. That’s a total order of $150-$200 million from just three companies. That’s a nice neighborhood
Each reservation requires a $20,000 deposit, so that’s nearly $2 Million Elon Musk can use to speed production, which may be affected by Musk’s decision to divert battery packs for the Semi, the Model 3 sedan and the Model X SUV to provide power to Puerto Rico, where the power grid was devastated by Hurricane Maria.
But I digress. Tesla is not the only EV manufacturer marketing zero-emission large trucks.
Here’s what else is new in super-sized EVs:
Nikola has teamed with Bosch to market and develop a plug-in hydrogen-electric truck lineup that will deliver more than 1,000 horsepower and 2,000 ft. lbs. of torque. That’s nearly double the horsepower of any semi-truck on the road. The trucks will be built on Bosch’s eAxle scalable platform, making it suitable for trucks of different sizes and weights, which also scales down production costs.
Nikola estimates its big rig technology can save around 117,000 gallons of fuel per rig per year. Multiply that by the hundreds of thousands of 18-wheelers on the road on any given day, and it adds up to monumental savings for the cost of shipping and the carbon footprint of goods shipped.
Nikola also is building a long-haul hybrid powered by compressed natural gas, and a network of CNG stations nationwide, spaced at around 500 mile intervals, to refuel the big rigs. The two alternative fuel heavy-duty rigs are known as Nikola One and Nikola Two, and the company hopes to have them both on the road by 2021.
Nikola was named for genius electrical engineer Nikola Tesla, who worked with both Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse. Nikola uses his first name, since there’s another electric vehicle company named for his last name.
As far as we know, Nikola Tesla is the only person to have two vehicle companies named after him, Nikola and Tesla.
The Workhorse W-15 pickup truck is the first plug-in, battery-electric vehicle of its kind and, with an 80 mile all-electric range, designed for fleet use. It’s powered by direct all-wheel drive and two electric traction motors that generate 460 hp, with 0-60 acceleration in a respectable 5.5 seconds.
The W-15 has a fuel-economy rating of 75 MPGe in all-electric mode, an EV-only range of 80 miles, which increases to 310 miles when using the on-board gasoline range extender. A notable standard feature is the ability to use onboard battery power to operate power tools without running the vehicle, and such advanced safety features as, collision avoidance/automatic braking and lane-departure warning.
Via Motors is offering another extended range plug-in electric truck from Via. This double-cab pickup has a 40 mile battery-only range, and a total 400 mile range in the hybrid mode. There are 240volt outlets on the truckbed, so the VTRUX has the additional capability of powering devices such as lights or tools in the field, or acting as an emergency generator for your home in a power outage.
While it’s being marketed as a fleet vehicle, we are certain Via Motors would sell one to an ordinary individual buyer like you or me.
Former California Governor and Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger has introduced a fully-electric version of the Hummer H1, the humongous civilian version of the even more humongous military vehicle. The H1 EV, is a conversion from the production line gas guzzler by Kreisel Electric, in Schwarzenegger’s native Austria.
It has an oversized range of about 200 miles and can reach speeds of up to 80 MPH from hunky electric motors on both the front and back axles. It also has off-road capabilities, so you can drive over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house whether she lives in the Tyrol or in the Sierras.
Photo Tesla truck courtesy jalopnik; all other photos courtesy their respective manufacturers.
Photo Nikola Tesla courtesy Wikipedia