New Project Could Be Huge Step Forward for Electric Semi-Trucks

Jan. 12, 2018
American Truck Showrooms' project could bring electrifications efficiencies to truckers, as the truck is a completely electric auxiliary power unit with no moving parts.

Jan.12, 2018—American Truck Showrooms is in its final test phase with a new “Trucker Electric Load Assist Power Unit.” The project bring electrifications efficiencies to truckers as the truck is a completely electric auxiliary power unit (APU) with no moving parts.

While all-electric vehicles are still years away, the fully-electric trucks won’t go into production until 2019. This news follows the announcement several months ago by Elon Musk from Tesla about the development of fully electric heavy-duty trucks.

The Tesla semi already have over 150 reservations, including 125 from UPS. The Tesla trucks, which will be priced around $250,000 will not hit the market until 2019, assuming production stays on track.

“We are constantly evaluating how new technology can benefit long-haul truckers. Electrification is interesting but fully-electric trucks won’t go into production until 2019, and the first models will cost more than $190,000. Truckers need the efficiency of electric power today, and our new APU technology delivers,” Thomas Normand, Louis’ son, explains.

The "Trucker Electric Smart Load Assist APU" features an array of batteries that will last more than 15 hours. The system heats and cools the cab and sleeper compartment, while offering power for electronics inside the truck. A fridge for the cab will be installed in the units that get this new power system. The new truck is a sealed system that will withstand environmental exposure. If a 110-volt receptacle is nearby, the trucker can plug-in and have unlimited service.

While auxiliary power unit motors are not new to the industry, the current technology runs small diesel motors. Many truckers struggle with breakdowns involving these diesel system APUs.

“These systems gulp fuel, are expensive to run and frequently break down,” said Thomas Normand. “Our Trucker Electric Smart Load Assist APU batteries charge while the truck is driving down the road so that when the trucker stops for the night, he hits ‘ON’ and the system does the rest. We are ushering in the age of electrification for the trucking industry.”

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