In an Australian first, Melbourne based company SEA Electric has commenced volume commercial production of electric trucks that will cost under $14 per day to charge from the grid, and even less if depot solar is used, with the first of the vehicles currently on the SEA Electric production line in Melbourne.
Proudly Australian since its inception in 2013, SEA Electric has grown a global reputation for its innovative electric power system solutions for commercial vehicles.
Two SEA Electric-badged vehicles, the SEA 300 and SEA 500, based on the Hino 500 Series and Hino 300 Series models, are now available for purchase.
“SEA Electric is privileged to be able to bring this Australian first to the marketplace,” said Glen Walker, SEA Electric Regional Director for Oceania.
“These trucks truly meet a need in the marketplace, and prior to this launch, we have received pre-orders for 46 vehicles from some of Australia’s biggest companies and councils.
“It represents an exciting phase in global EV development, and this places SEA Electric at the forefront.
The trucks are propelled by SEA Electric’s SEA-Drive® Power-System, which is available in various performance and range packages to suit applications from 4.5 tonne car licence vehicles through to 22.5 tonne 3 axle trucks.
Previously only available as a retrofit option for existing diesel vehicles, the trucks are assembled from Semi Knocked Down (SKD) kits, complete with a fully integrated SEA-Drive® Power-System from new.
Real world testing of in-service vehicles that travel up to 1000 kilometres per week has revealed daily recharging costs of less than $14 per day using standard off-peak electricity prices of 15c per kWh.
Future proofed with an upgradable plug and play architecture, the SEA-Drive® Power-System can be charged using the world’s biggest charging network, which is 415V 3-phase power via the truck’s standard on-board charging equipment, with optional DC fast charging also available.
The fast charging option enables a charging rate four times faster than standard, and offers range extending top-ups during lunch hour or vehicle loading.
From an operational perspective, lower maintenance and running costs are possible, with diesel consumption eliminated and fewer moving parts minimising service costs.
“Our electric Power System features a host of key features, including smooth application of torque, industry-leading range, whisper quiet operation, and importantly, a reduction in the truck’s carbon footprint, with zero emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane,” said Mr Walker.
Another highlight of the trucks are the improved workplace health and safety conditions for operators, with the powertrain producing no noise or fumes while reducing vibrations, which combine to limit driver fatigue.
“SEA-Drive® technology performs exceptionally well in congested urban environments, where pollution reduction is needed most, and as demonstrated by real world experience from our global vehicle deployments it provides competitive whole of life operating costs when compared to traditional diesel vehicles,” said Mr Walker.
“As demonstrated with vehicles already fitted with SEA-Drive® Power-Systems, the trucks are extremely quiet, perform well, while also providing a powerful yet smooth ride.
“They also have a flexible architecture which will future-proof their ownership.
“There are a range of advantages provided by the SEA-Drive® Power-System, including reduced service costs, with a routine four-hour inspection required every six months, and minimal wear on service brakes due to the use of regenerative braking.
“In Australia, carbon dioxide emissions from transport are now the second highest behind electricity generation, and are forecast to continue rising.
“With this announcement, the freight industry can now react – safe in the knowledge that their freight product offering will be enhanced in their clients’ eyes.
“Mass uptake of electric trucks in urban Australia has the potential to save up to millions of tonnes of CO2 each year, and provide up to 40,000 MWh of mobile battery storage, which is a potential future revenue stream.”
The trucks are currently on sale from 15 fully accredited SEA Electric dealers nationwide that can also provide service and parts support, including any work carried out under the standard three-year warranty.
“Having a strong dealer network and nationwide support structure in place, we are excited for the range to hit Australia’s roads,” concluded Mr Walker.
Roadside Assistance will be available via industry leading provider NTI for the life of the warranty period.