SoCal company puts Kenworth’s electric prototype T680s to work for drayage, regional service

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Kenworth Electric T680 Prototype
These T680 day cab tractors are Kenworth’s second-generation, range-extended electric trucks, and can run in zero-emissions mode on batteries for 30 miles. In addition, those batteries can be recharged while driving using a generator powered by a near-zero emissions natural gas engine. (Courtesy: Kenworth)

KIRKLAND, Wash. — Kenworth recently delivered two prototype Kenworth T680 tractors — each equipped with a series hybrid-electric propulsion system — to Total Transportation Systems Inc. (TTSI) in Southern California. TTSI is a drayage, warehouse and transportation company based in Rancho Dominguez, Calif.

The two T680 day cab tractors are Kenworth’s second-generation, range-extended electric trucks, and can run in zero-emissions mode on batteries for 30 miles. In addition, those batteries can be recharged while driving using a generator powered by a near-zero emissions natural gas engine. The trucks were built under a project funded by California Climate Investments and the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, and administered through the California Air Resources Board and South Coast Air Quality Management District.

“We thank TTSI for its participation in this important project,” said Brian Lindgren, Kenworth research and development director.

“These zero-emissions-capable Kenworth T680 range-extended electric vehicles were developed to explore and evaluate potential alternatives to diesel power for Class 8 commercial trucks, and to broaden Kenworth’s experience with electrified powertrains,” he said. “They offer an excellent solution for local clean air regulations in drayage and regional applications, while delivering the Kenworth performance our customers expect.”

The two Kenworth T680 hybrid-electric vehicles use the Cummins Westport L9N Near Zero (NZ) emission engine fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG) driving a generator to extend the truck’s battery range. The truck uses lithium-ion batteries to achieve its zero-emissions range and to supplement power from the generator when climbing grades.

The system’s energy management and control capabilities ensure that energy generated by the engine and regenerative braking system is appropriately applied through the electric motor, resulting in lower fuel consumption. Recent tests comparing Kenworth’s range extended electric truck to a truck using a conventional natural gas powertrain showed a 23% improvement in fuel economy and an 18% reduction in CO2 emissions.

“We all have a responsibility to protect our environment,” said Vic La Rosa, TTSI CEO and president. TTSI is taking a lead role to help reduce emissions and provide cleaner air with the addition of these two latest Kenworth T680 hybrid-electric vehicles to serve the region and the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.”

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