UK suppliers and automotive technology specialists are playing a key role in the development of an electric range-extender truck by Essex-based Tevva Motors that promises to cut the cost of ownership by more than a quarter and CO2 emissions by 80%.
The 7.5-tonne truck has a 100hp 1.6-litre diesel engine made by Ford in Dagenham, while its zero-emission lithium-ion phosphate batteries are sourced from Goodwolfe in Southend and its driveline comes courtesy of Magtec in Sheffield. Brentwood-based Revolve Technologies is also involved with the project, along with Essex Bodies of Rayleigh, which has built an aerodynamic box body for the vehicle. The entire programme has received funding from the Department for Transport and the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
The test platform is built on an N Series truck chassis made by China’s JAC. Equipped with a 120kW electric motor, Tevva claims the repowered N Series can travel for up to 100 miles on battery power alone. The twin battery packs can be charged using electricity from a three-phase 32-amp mains supply in just three hours. With the diesel-powered range extender engine acting purely as an onboard generator, with no direct connection to the final drive, the vehicle’s total range is up to 370 miles.
To maximise the use of battery power over the diesel engine in urban environments, Tevva has employed a cloud-based telematics solution. The system works out the amount of energy required for the truck’s planned route and manages use of the range extender diesel engine accordingly. This means the engine may start while the batteries are still well charged if the vehicle is on a major arterial road or in a more rural area, in order to make more efficient use of the batteries on city streets later in the route.
Tevva estimates that CO2 emissions from its range-extender truck will be 80% lower than those emitted by a standard Euro-VI diesel 7.5-tonner, with NOx emissions more than 50% lower.
While the range-extender engine and regenerative braking are both used to charge the batteries en route, most of the charging will be done from a mains power outlet while the vehicle is parked. Tevva predicts a total cost of ownership saving of up to 27% over five years compared with a standard diesel 7.5-tonner. This does not take into account any congestion charge savings or government grants that may be on offer to the customer.
Tevva is currently trialling the range extender technology in a Mercedes-Benz Vario in service with UPS in the London area, and it is also being installed in a 12-tonne fire engine in service with the London Fire Brigade.
The company says the technology is suitable for trucks up to 18 tonnes GVW, although a larger battery pack may be required. Despite the weight of the batteries and generator, the 7.5-tonne N Series can carry a load of approximately 2.7 tonnes. It is zero-rated for Vehicle Excise Duty.
Tevva expects that the vehicle will enter series production in three to four years, with a projected price from £40,000 to £60,000 depending on specification. A retrofit package for other trucks is also being developed for commercial sale within the next three years.
NOBULL APPOINTED TO DRIVE INVESTMENT FOR TEVVA, ELECTRIC TRUCK PIONEER
Nobull Communications has been appointed by electric truck company Tevva Motors as its PR, social and digital agency to drive the company’s next round of investment.
Tevva Motors is at the forefront of the development of the next generation of electric urban delivery trucks. Its innovative technology can be retrofitted to older vehicles or incorporated in new builds on the production line and already counts UPS as one of its customers.
“Nobull has come highly recommended as delivering high profile media campaigns in the EV space as well as supporting companies like Tevva in bringing new technologies to market,” explained Asher Bennett, CEO of Tevva Motors.
Nobull Communications has been tasked with raising Tevva’s profile for its next round of investment, key for its continued development of new technology which it intends to bring to market in the next three years.
“Tevva may only be a few years old, but it has a fascinating story to share. We are very excited at being able to bring Tevva and its new technologies to life across a range of PR, social media and digital channels,” said Steve Carman, Director of Nobull Communications.