Kalmar USA and TransPower have announced they will enter into a 5-year supply agreement and showcase the first joint-effort zero emission, battery-electric version of Kalmar’s Ottawa T2 terminal tractor at the Advanced Clean Technology (ACT) Expo in Long Beach, CA on May 2, 2017. Kalmar, a global manufacturer of terminal tractors and other cargo handling equipment, and TransPower, an advanced clean energy technology company, have been collaborating since 2011 to develop and perfect advanced, zero-emission electric terminal tractors. The terminal tractor on display was completed as part of a glider program in which TransPower completed the build by installing its drive system at its Escondido, CA facility. Under Kalmar’s new supply agreement with TransPower, Kalmar will manufacture electric terminal tractors on its own assembly line in Ottawa, KS, using parts shipped to Kansas by TransPower. The first prototype units are scheduled to be produced in the Ottawa plant in the fourth quarter but no full production dates are available at this time.
TransPower has been developing its “ElecTruck” drive system on past models of Kalmar terminal tractors and have accumulated approximately 40,000 miles of commercial use in a variety of demanding applications since 2013. At the California distribution center of retail giant IKEA, a Kalmar Ottawa-TransPower electric tractor has become IKEA’s preferred tractor since 2014, due to its high reliability and low operating cost.
Terminal tractors powered by TransPower’s electric drive technology have eliminated tons of toxic pollutants and CO2 emissions, while reducing the exposure of tractor operators to noise and truck vibrations. The cost of energy for an electric tractor can be as little as 3 cents per mile, if the tractor is powered by solar energy such as the one being operated by IKEA. For a comparable diesel tractor, the energy cost is closer to 75 cents per mile.
Funding for development of TransPower’s electric tractor drive system has been contributed by many government agencies since this technology development effort was initiated in 2011, including the California Air Resources Board (CARB), California Energy Commission, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), South Coast Air Quality Management District, and San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. The Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, and San Diego have also contributed significantly to development and demonstration of this new technology.