Future of terminal tractors is electric – while performance is still the key
The first-generation electric terminal tractor was introduced in the Americas in 2018. What are the key experiences from this first generation – and what are the next steps in Kalmar’s journey towards fully electric offering?
Fredrik Moritz, Director, New Business Development Terminal Tractors, at Kalmar, explains that Ottawa Electric T2E was launched in May 2018 – and that Kalmar Electric T2E is under development as well.
Eco-efficiency is now being driven by a multitude of factors, notes Moritz.
“There is a sense of urgency over the world,” he says, noting that customers – and the customers’ customers – all insist on more sustainable practices. Legislation and investor concerns put additional pressure to “go green” wherever one can.
Chris Dvorak, R&D Director Terminal Tractors, at Kalmar, says that the development of Ottawa Electric Terminal Tractor was started around 2015 and finally hit the market two years ago. Currently, the biggest market is California, due to its pro-green legislation practices.
The second generation, Kalmar Electric Terminal Tractor, is already waiting in the wings, with customer pilots scheduled for the end of 2020, says Dvorak.
“We could start to build proto units for generation 2 around Q3 in 2021. The sales start is scheduled for Q2 2022, with start of production to follow in Q4 2022,” he lays out the timeline.
Feedback from the Field
How about the performance of the 1st generation, then? – Dvorak goes over some key performance figures for Ottawa T2E, drawing from extensive field experiences and monitoring (conducted for two months). The electric terminal tractors have been able perform their duties without battery conditions being compromised, for example.
“On average, the battery condition went from 100% to 77,4% until the next charge, which is good for the lifetime of the battery,” says Dvorak.
Going from Gen1 to Gen2, considerable upgrades will be made: for example, passive thermal management will be replaced with an active one.
“This will vastly extend the temperature capability range, the new range going from -30°C to 50°C in comparison to the existing one which is -10°C to 30°C,” Dvorak explains.
Charge rates will go from 80kW (AC) to 150kW (DC), with the introduction of the DC fast charge standard.
“Automated charging is also in our roadmap,” adds Dvorak, promising more information about the topic on a later date.