A UK based company working on a 7.5 tonne Diesel Range Extended Electric Truck has secured a deal with China’s biggest truck manufacturer to cooperate on the development of the vehicle.
The company founded only in 2012, is developing a drivetrain and battery system that would be suitable for the base-to-base delivery truck market and wants to utilise existing Chinese chassis to drive costs down.
"Using an existing chassis is vital to getting the cost down. This is what we did at Tesla with the Lotus chassis. Our expertise is in the drivetrain and battery, not the rest of the truck, so why re-invents the wheel?" said Malcolm Powell, Teva’s VP engineer who has previously worked in Tesla Motors in the development of Tesla’s Roadster.
Unlike consumer vehicles, fleet buyers look at lifetime costs - where electric vehicles excel - and not the ticket price. But range is the critical factor. "The market has clearly told us that electric vehicles must be operationally competitive, they must never run out of range, and they must cost less than diesel vehicles,” said Teva’s CEO Asher Bennett.
To make sure the trucks don’t run out of power on the way, Teva uses a back-up Diesel engine that can take over if the need arises. It can be also used for a short time each day to re-charge the battery.
Teva will introduce its team and product on tomorrow’s Automotive Cleantech Conference in London.