EDI Shows Off Its Plug-In Hybrid Freightliner

MAR 19 2017 BY MARK KANE 12

Efficient Drivetrains expanded its portfolio of plug-in conversions to include a new OEM platform, the Freightliner M2 truck.

Equipped with EDI’s PowerDrive 6000 set-up, the Freightliner M2 PHEV:

  • will be capable to drive more than 25 miles in all-electric mode (and further 300 miles in hybrid mode), offering significant savings to the operator
  • decreases emission by up to 80%
  • completely eliminates job site engine idle for well over 8 hours
  • has an exportable power option up to about 120kW

Efficient Drivetrains’s Freightliner M2 PHEV

About the Freightliner M2 PHE & EDI PowerDrive 6000:

The newest utility vehicle features the EDI PowerDrive™ 6000 plug-in electric drivetrain, delivering over 25+ miles of all-electric, zero-emissions driving, 300 more miles of range in hybrid modes, and reduces emissions by up to 80 percent when compared to conventional utility vehicles.

The new Freightliner utility truck operates as a powerful, all electric zero emissions vehicle for both city and highway driving situations, extends driving ranges with two high efficiency hybrid modes, and eliminates jobsite engine idle for well over 8 hours.

Another industry-differentiator on EDI’s utility vehicles is the optional exportable power capacity, ranging from 75-160kW. By harnessing the power of the on-board batteries, the vehicle can power a neighborhood, eliminate planned and unplanned outages, and provide emergency backup power in the event of a natural disaster. The Freightliner M2 features 120kW of exportable power, and enables a utility to run the vehicle in anti-idle zones, during late hours and job site tool with zero engine idling, no noise, fumes, or emissions.

News Highlights:

  • The EDI PowerDrive™ 6000 has been integrated into a Freightliner M2 truck, rounding out the company’s utility solution offering with an additional, highly differentiated OEM offering
  • The EDI PowerDrive™ 6000 has previously been durability tested over 1.5 million miles in a commercial fleet setting of city buses
  • EDI is currently offering Class-3 through 6 utility solutions with optional exportable power available on Ford, GM, Peterbilt, and now Freightliner platforms
  • The Freightliner utility truck will be on display March 15-17th at the NTEA work truck show in the Freightliner booth
  • The company will continue to expand its portfolio of solutions: EDI PowerDrive™ line of EV and PHEV drivetrains, EDI PowerSuite™ Vehicle Control Software and Telematics, and EDI Power2E™ 2 Way Charging and Exportable Power for end users, vehicle manufacturers and integrators throughout 2017

Joerg Ferchau, CEO, Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. said:

“We are very proud to drive a new chapter of innovation and expand our utility solution offering to include Freightliner. This new vehicle is by far, the most powerful and versatile fully electric and hybrid truck in the industry. This Freightliner fully surpassed everyone’s expectations about the acceleration and power that could be delivered in a zero-emissions capable class 6 worktruck.

“When combining its strong zero emissions performance with the ability to eliminate jobsite engine idle for an entire 10+ hour shift and also having an option for exporting enough AC power to eliminate tow behind generators, you end up with an ideal electrified worktruck solution for the industry.

“It has always been our focus to deliver cutting-edge innovation with the ability to drive maximum value for fleet operators. Our portfolio of proven, industry-first electrified utility vehicles help fleet operators meet aggressive emissions reduction mandates today. Utilities benefit from a from reduction in fuel costs, significant reduction in emissions, and the optional on-board power substantially reduces downtime during planned and unplanned outages.”

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12 Comments on "EDI Shows Off Its Plug-In Hybrid Freightliner"

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This is so awesome I don’t know where to start. So I will just say that vehicle electrification is now expanding at very rapid pace. Invest before this becomes commonplace.

Walmart WAVE class-8 truck uses the Capstone Turbine Microturbine as a range extender. UQM is developing a drive-train with another manufacturer that specializes in drive-trains. Check UQM news. This really is the future of long-haul trucking in America. Only one moving part in the Capstone Turbine Microturbine and no oil lubrication required because they use air bearings.

Contemplate this, a battery bank in the floor of every trailer and solar panels on the roof of every trailer. Each trailer would be ready to roll with a full charge and capable of absorbing the kinetic energy recovered during braking. Electric motors develop maximum torque from a dead start compared to diesel engines. We have just entered a new age folks.

It’s fantastic. It’s so awesome. This thing even has the option to export 120kW at the job site. Assuming you ground some spider boxes properly, you could power some very interesting things with that, like water pumps, light towers, and welders. All three of those could be fundamentally smaller without their own diesel engine. Miniaturization of job site tools also frees up the towing pintle for more useful stuff, like pulling a utility pole to where it’s needed.

I’m still of the opinion that utilities (ironically) should get a free pass on any electrification mandates, because of the peculiar nature of their particular work and due to the obvious circular dependency. But if perhaps 10% of the fleet is electric because the option is this excellent, then so much the better.

This is outstanding.

Or, allow them to keep plugin hybrid drivetrains even when we’re pushing full electric. That way, most of the time, they’re able to use electric, especially for routine work, but aren’t constrained when power is out (as long as the gas tanks are topped off… since we can’t pump gas without power either)

Amazing what adding an electric motor and a large battery can do for a work truck. And, you don’t need a heat(diesel) engine for low end torque. The e-motor has that in spades.

Yep. 120kW runs a whole lot of floodlights and high-torque winches, right? So this could be a natural wrecker body. Maybe EDI should go show this off at the national Tow Show on April 20th in Orlando, if only to build mindshare for subsequent years.

This looks really cool, though I’m left wondering what the price is.

If it is competitively priced, or even a bit higher than a comparable ICE, the ROI should still be a no brainer.

I’d imagine that the price is high, meaningfully higher that a comparable ICE, but that the capitalization of this equipment yields a net operating position that is financially favorable to many customers. This kind of purchase is not motivated by protecting against fuel price increases.

120kW is good, but for how long? I see no mention of battery capacity on their site, and delivering even just 50kW for 4 hours would need a very expensive & heavy 200kWh+ battery.

“…but for how long?”

Oh, it’s so much better than that. You’re still in BEV-think. Put your PHEV hat on.

Since it’s got the ICE, it can provide twist to the generator rotor pretty much indefinitely, or at least as long as liquid fuel is available for refueling. Presumably, this rig can ride through the aftermath of a hurricane, powering rescue operations on the ground, while it rigs things in the air.

From their website:

“Emergency Power… At 160kW, EDI’s power export capability is the industry’s highest—able to keep the power on for up to 100 homes.”


That’s not true if those 100 homes simultaneously charge 80kW Teslas and Leafs, obviously. Then it’d be two homes. LOL. But now we’re talking about a peak load conversation, which does not diminish the overall coolness of this truck.

I love it.

The settings will have to be automatic, the drivers aren’t geniuses..or even care very much about saving our taxpayer paid for fuel.