Minnesota’s Freedom Trucking is using lithium-ion battery systems from Oakridge Global Energy Solutions in its fully electric interstate truck propulsion system.
The system enables interstate trucks with a gross vehicle weight of approximately 36 tonnes to travel more than 640 kilometres between charges.
“The custom battery design for Freedom Trucking is an absolute game changer,” said Oakridge Executive Chairman and CEO, Steve Barber.
” With our new custom battery systems, we have now greatly expanded the effective range of the electric truck, now making them a practical reality for immediate application to the interstate trucking business, while at the same time providing a much safer, low maintenance vehicle by virtue of the more robust chemistry and the battery management systems we have designed for this product.”
An initial analysis for Freedom Trucking carried out by the US Department of Transportation indicates using fully electric trucks to move cargo will save in excess of USD $0.60 per mile over traditional diesel in fuel costs, maintenance costs, and weight. That works out to be a saving of around a dollar per kilometre in Australian currency at current exchange rates.
The other saving is in the bigger picture – the environmental benefits; particularly if the trucks are recharged using electricity generated from renewable energy sources such as hydro, wind or solar power.
Last week, Oakridge Global Energy Solutions also launched a lithium ion battery for Harley Davidson, Indian and Victory motorcycles.
The batteries can remove more than 7 kilos from the weight of the largest bikes and the company says they can go without charging for up to 12 months and still start a large motorcycle. Oakridge says its Liberty Series batteries have a typical self- discharge of 1% or less per month compared to the 10% – 15% self-discharge of traditional lead acid and AGM cells.
Oakridge Global Energy Solutions manufactures battery management systems and batteries for a wide range of applications. It has projected sales for 2016 of USD $140 million, with sales within 4 years of around $1 billion. The company has also indicated plans to expand its presence in a variety of markets throughout Europe, Australasia and Japan.