Peterbilt is going to introduce class 8 all-electric trucks (two vehicle platforms) using solutions from Meritor and TransPower.

Peterbilt Model 520 Demonstration Vehicle with a fully electric drivetrain

Peterbilt Model 520 Demonstration Vehicle with a fully electric drivetrain

At first, 15 BEVs will be built using Meritor's powertrain and TransPower's battery systems:

  • 12 Peterbilt all-electric Class 8 Model 579 day cab tractors
  • three Model 520 refuse trucks
Tests will take about one year.

 The first prototype of the refuse truck is equipped with a 315 kWh battery that lasts for 80 miles (130 km) and can be recharged in six hours using 70 kW charger. Electric motor power is around 400 hp (300 kW).

Meritor Blue Horizon

Meritor Blue Horizon

"Meritor will supply high-efficiency and lightweight axles, drivelines and brakes that maximize system efficiency, extend range and increase payload. Electric drivetrain power and control systems, as well as batteries and accessories, will be supplied by TransPower, a California-based manufacturer of integrated drive systems, full-electric truck solutions and energy-storage subsystems. Meritor has a strategic investment in TransPower and is the exclusive commercial distributor of these systems.

The electric drivetrain systems utilized by these trucks is specifically tailored to the needs of drayage and refuse applications. The flexible design of the system allows it to be customized for many other duty-cycles and vocations."

"Testing will last approximately one year and is designed to prove out the ranges, operating hours and charging requirements of vehicles operating in real-world service conditions alongside conventional diesel-fueled trucks.

The 80,000-pound, short-haul Peterbilt 579 drayage trucks will support operations at ports throughout California, including Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Diego and Oakland. Two 520 refuse haulers will be tested by Sacramento County and a waste hauler will operate one truck.

The deployment of 12 Peterbilt 579 trucks is being funded by the California Air Resources Board and a consortium of California's regional air quality districts, including the South Coast Air Quality Management District, Bay Area Air Quality Management District and San Diego Air Pollution Control District. Funding for the Peterbilt 520 deployment was provided by the California Energy Commission."

Jay Craig, CEO and president of Meritor said:

"This collaboration with Peterbilt reinforces the viability of our advanced technology and electrified solutions that are adaptable for a wide range of applications. We look forward to getting these vehicles on the road this summer."

The all-electric powertrains will be sold by Meritor under a new technology brand Blue Horizon.

Meritor offers eAxle and eSuspension platforms to deliver power ranges of 150, 180 and 200 kW in each axle and peak power of 250 kW.

"Products offered under the new brand will include integrated electrified solutions for Class 4-8 commercial vehicles across multiple vocations, including pickup and delivery, drayage/terminal tractors, transit and school buses, as well as linehaul and other heavy-duty applications."

"Initially, Blue Horizon electric drivetrain systems will feature Meritor's integrated eCarrier that utilizes an electric motor inside the axle to power the vehicle, replacing a conventional mechanical engine with an electric motor integrated into the rear drive axle.

The eCarrier's power-dense design reduces cost and weight by eliminating the driveline and related drivetrain mounting components to free up space for batteries inside the frame rails for enhanced safety. The eCarrier design is flexible for use with rigid and independent suspension axle platforms in single and tandem configurations. Two-speed gearing works with a smaller, lighter-weight motor to deliver heavier load capability and operate in the motor's sweet spot for maximum efficiency.

Meritor's eCarrier will launch with the eAxle and eSuspension platforms to deliver power ranges of 150, 180 and 200 kW in each axle and peak power of 250 kW. Rounding out the electric axle lineup is an eCorner module for medium-duty, pickup and delivery, and bus applications. Demonstrator vehicle testing is scheduled for this summer.

Meritor's consolidation of advanced solutions under a single brand reflects more than 20 years of technology leadership focused on delivering high-tech drivetrain solutions for our global customers."

Got a tip for us? Email: