Triton-EV has produced a 100% electric-powered, full-service 18-wheeler semi-truck prototype.
The lorry, a hybrid of hydrogen fuels which generate electricity stored in on-board batteries, has a 220,000-pound towing capacity; the same as a comparable diesel truck on the road.
Triton-EV was able to produce the prototype in slightly more than one month.
“We decided to go for it,” said Triton-EV founder and CEO, Himanshu Patel. “Everyone was saying, ‘No, it can’t be done. It will take five years and a hundred million dollars.’ We thought, no, we can do it right now. We have the people and the components. The whole effort took 35 days. That’s the kind of team we have.”
The undertaking was self-funded.
The trend in the industry is to emphasise hydrogen while using relatively few batteries, notes Triton. This causes an issue with torque, as hydrogen does not usually generate enough torque to haul an 80,000-pound trailer at sufficient speed and acceleration. Triton-EV took the opposite approach, with many batteries and a small amount of hydrogen.
“The reason we did it this way is that the hydrogen infrastructure is not there yet in the market,” added Patel. “At the same time, we can use the hydrogen as the range extender.”
The truck uses a hydrogen fuel cell generator to put power back into the battery. The motor runs off the battery, which provides the necessary torque for a truck of this size. The Triton-EV semi-truck is estimated to have a range of around 300 miles.
Triton-EV has not yet determined a price for the truck, but the company expects it will sell within the existing price range in the industry, which is between US$150,000 and US$250,000.
TritonEV is currently exploring partnership options and will also be releasing The Triton model H SUV in the coming months.