Peterbilt is at work on an all-electric Class 8 truck

Peterbilt announced yesterday that it would be joining the increasingly competitive electric truck market.

Peterbilt will be partnering with TransPower and Meritor in the creation of a limited number of all-electric Class 8 trucks that will be tested for a year in California. The new all-electric trucks include 12 Peterbilt all-electric Class 8 Model 579 day cab tractors and three Model 520 refuse trucks.

From a press release from Meritor on the partnership: “Meritor will supply high-efficiency and lightweight axles, drivelines and brakes that maximize system efficiency, extend range and increase payload. Electric drivetrain power and control systems, as well as batteries and accessories, will be supplied by TransPower, a California-based manufacturer of integrated drive systems, full-electric truck solutions and energy-storage subsystems. Meritor has a strategic investment in TransPower and is the exclusive commercial distributor of these systems.”

During the one year testing program, the “80,000-pound, short-haul Peterbilt 579 drayage trucks will support operations at ports throughout California, including Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Diego, and Oakland. Two 520 refuse haulers will be tested by Sacramento County and a waste hauler will operate one truck.” The testing program is designed to compare the real world usage of the electric trucks alongside their diesel-powered counterparts.

Funding for the one year testing program is coming from California Air Resources Board as well as other air quality groups.