Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC) presented the preproduction all-electric WIV chassis model at the 2010 National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) Work Truck Show.
The all-electric chassis, developed in partnership with Enova Systems is built on the popular FCCC MT-45 WIV chassis platform.
The new all-electric chassis enables fleet operators to eliminate harmful emissions and cut operating and maintenance costs while delivering the performance and driver comfort features FCCC customers have come to expect. On select delivery and service routes, studies show that customers will save up to $15,000 per vehicle annually compared with traditionally powered walk-in vans. The quiet operation of the all-electric chassis also makes for an enjoyable driver experience. This new chassis has a flat-leaf spring front and rear suspension, allowing for a smooth, solid ride that minimizes cargo shifts on uneven road surfaces.
The development program with Enova involved the engineering and integration of Enova’s 120kW all-electric drive system technology into the new MT-45 chassis. Ideal for the pickup and delivery market, the MT-45 chassis boasts a GVWR of 14,000 to 19,500 lbs. The durable steel straight-rail chassis frame reduces flex and bowing to minimize chassis stress while carrying heavy payloads.
Powered by Tesla Motors lithium ion batteries, the chassis is 100 percent electric, including its HVAC system, making it the only fully featured WIV chassis in the industry to be completely electrically powered. FCCC is the first company within the industry to utilize Tesla batteries for commercial applications.
The all-electric drive system features battery packs that provides an up to 100-mile driving range on a single charge, making it ideal for pickup and delivery applications. The battery pack will charge from fully depleted to fully charged in six to eight hours.
The batteries featured on the electric system also capture and store energy during the regenerative braking phase of the vehicle’s operation. The regenerative braking system reduces friction during braking, resulting in less brake wear and extended brake life. The regenerative braking system saves energy by recycling and storing it, which can then be reused to propel the vehicle instead of losing it to heat, as is the case with traditional brakes.
Other features include a parking pawl within the gear box and a push-button shifter for improved efficiency.
The all-electric MT-45 chassis is expected to go into full production during the first quarter of 2011 and will undergo testing with major U.S. pickup and delivery fleets.[wzslider height=”400″ lightbox=”true”]