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Heavy-duty

Photo gallery: Kenworth zero-emissions electric truck test drive

Jason Morgan is the content director of Fleet Equipment. He has more than 15 years of B2B journalism experience covering the likes of trucking and construction equipment, real estate, movies and craft beer industries.

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Kenworth’s battery powered electric trucks were lined up outside of the PACCAR Innovation Center, nestled in the middle of Silicon Valley, and were charged up, ready to roll. I was on hand to kick the tires (figuratively) and take a ride (literally) in the Class 8 T680E and medium-duty Kenworth K270E cabover. I also took a close look at the PACCAR charging infrastructure offering. While there is plenty more content to come, take a quick look at this photographic tour through the event.

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Kenworth T680E Class 8 Electric Truck

The crown jewel of Kenworth’s battery electric truck lineup sports gross vehicle weight rating offerings of 54,000 lbs. or 82,000 lbs.; 670 HP peak power, an approximate 150-mile range and CCS1 DC fast charge that makes a three-hour charge time possible (depending on battery pack and charger kW sizes). It also utilizes a 396 kWh battery pack. Meritor supplies the electric powertrain. The electric powertrain is built on the T680 body and product platform.

The batteries add about 7,000-lbs of technology (compared to a diesel truck) but there’s a federal exemption for up to 82,000-lbs. The typical wheelbase is 190 in., with an ePTO option measuring in at a 216-in. wheelbase.

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Kenworth K270E medium-duty cabover

The K270E (along with its K370E bigger brother) can cover applications from Class 6 to 8. It sports up to a 35,000-lb. GVWR, the option of either a 355 HP or 459 HP Motor and is configurable up to 100, 150 or 200-mile range. The CCS1 DC fast charger enables a one- to two-hour recharge time (depending on battery pack and charger kW sizes). The battery packs options are a 141 or 282 kWH. Dana supplies to electric powertrain. The wheelbase options are: 206 in., 218 in., 270 in.

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PACCAR chargers

PACCAR touted its charger lineup last week at CES, but had them on full display outside of the Innovation Center. PACCAR offers them with PACCAR Financial, along with financial options for the EVs. They partner with Schneider Electric and EnTech Solutions to ease the electric truck charging infrastructure challenges. They note that it’s a full-service solution with multiple software options and a range of 24-kW to 350-kW chargers available.

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The CCS1 charging plug features both AC and DC capabilities. The two female inputs on the bottom are the DC chargers, the three above are the AC.

A tease of the hydrogen long-haul

While the battery electric trucks were front and center, Kenworth Chief Engineer Joe Adams noted that the truck lineup pictured above are short-range solutions. When it comes to long-haul applications, Adams noted that talk of hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles that provide a 300- to 500-mile range and a 15-minute hydrogen refill time is gaining ground. Of particular interest from Adams were the comments that traditional diesel fueling stations have been interested in adding hydrogen capabilities.

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Fluid on the ground might worry fleet managers, but rest easy—hydrogen fuel cell trucks like this Kenworth T680 hydrogen model only emits water and water vapor.
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