Work Trucks Battery Powered tractor trailer

Published on March 1st, 2016 | by Steve Hanley

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Oakridge Batteries Power Electric Truck With 400 Mile Range – Updated

March 1st, 2016 by  
 

Update 3/4 – The following story appears to have no basis in fact. Several attempts to reach Oakridge Global Energy Solutions were unsuccessful. 

Freedom Trucking of Minneapolis, Minnesota has been working to develop a battery powered electric truck that can haul an 80,000 load 400 miles on a single battery charge. It has been working closely with Oakridge Global Energy Solutions of Melbourne, Florida for several years to find a battery that is up to the task.

Battery Powered tractor trailer

The companies announced last week that they now have a fully operational electric truck propulsion system that will allow Freedom Trucking to send its tractor trailers from Minneapolis to Chicago on a daily basis. The announcement was carried by Global News Wire. The service is expected to begin in the second half of 2016. The battery operated trucks will save Freedom Trucking about 60 cents per mile in fuel and maintenance cost compared to a standard diesel powered rig. That’s according to an analysis by the US Department of Transportation.

Freedom Trucking and Oakridge say their electric truck with its specially designed battery systems will completely revolutionize the interstate trucking business in the United States. Diesel trucks are the backbone of American commerce, but they also fill the atmosphere with carbon dioxide, sulfur emissions, nitrous oxides, and particulates from their exhaust pipes. Lowering truck emissions would have a greater overall impact on the nation’s environmental health that buying everyone in America a new Prius.

“The custom battery design for Freedom Trucking is an absolute game changer,” said Oakridge Executive Chairman and CEO, Steve Barber. Battery Powered tractor trailer“We are excited to be working with Freedom Trucking and their team on such a revolutionary product. We at Oakridge are continuing our mission to onshore manufacturing back to the US and this is a really big win for all of us. We are reducing carbon emissions, reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and bringing manufacturing back to the US, while at the same time playing a pivotal role in revolutionizing the interstate trucking business. This is a tremendous win for everyone in the USA.”

Freedom Trucking has been working on the design of the propulsion system with Ohio State University scientists and others for the past five years. This product has been hampered by poor quality Chinese batteries. But now, full scale production of high quality, “Made in USA” Oakridge battery systems will begin in 2016.

“We are all about game-changing technology and products at Oakridge. Oakridge is the “Made In The USA” battery company that has the talent and technology to overcome these types of obstacles for our customers in designing state-of-the-art high performance custom battery systems. With our new custom battery systems, we have now greatly expanded the effective range of the electric truck, now making them a practical reality for immediate application to the interstate trucking business, while at the same time providing a much safer, low maintenance vehicle by virtue of the more robust chemistry and the battery management systems we have designed for this product,” adds Mr. Barber.

Photo Credit: Global News Wire


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I have been a car nut since the days when Rob Walker and Henry N. Manney, III graced the pages of Road & Track. Today, I use my trusty Miata for TSD rallies and occasional track days at Lime Rock and Watkins Glen. If it moves on wheels, I'm interested in it. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.



  • Oil4AsphaltOnly

    Is there a link for more info? This is the type of tech that would put the nail in the fossil fuel coffin. Each BEV truck could potentially displace as many as 20 passenger cars (4-times the fuel consumed per mile x 5-times the annual mileage per car) worth of gasoline!

  • Joe Viocoe

    Wow.. is this confirmed? Or “working on”?

    “The companies announced last week that they now have a fully operational electric truck propulsion system that will allow Freedom Trucking to send its tractor trailers from Minneapolis to Chicago on a daily basis.”

    If they have already gone 400 miles with a 80,000 lbs, on a U.S. highway… I would like to know when and where this took place.
    I really hope this isn’t some projection, and an actual confirmed test on a real road.

    Some simple questions that should obviously be in the press release… but would make me suspicious if omitted:
    How many kwh to achieve this 400 mile range?
    What is the estimated cost $/kwh for the pack?

  • Steve Hanley

    Thank you both for your comments. I should have provided a link to the source article. Have done so now. Also included a link to the Oakridge website for your use.

    I have sent an e-mail to Oakridge asking for more information. I will let you know what I find out from them. This is an important subject. I will follow up when I have more information.

    • yossiS

      Thanks Steve, I hope you are able to get some additional numbers. I don’t think the company will be particularly inclined to do so, however. Unless Oak Ridge has developed something truly revolutionary, the numbers will only help show the entire premise is highly uneconomic in the current market. Electrification is suited best for smaller vehicles, with economics deteriorating with increasing vehicle size.

      • Steve Hanley

        Looks like no further info is coming. The whole thing appears to be bogus. it will happen someday. Just not today. Thanks for your input.

  • jamesjm

    I couldn’t find the Freedom Trucking website….

    • Steve Hanley

      Nor could I. All I found were general links for a small trucking company in St. Paul that has 5 or less employees. I will report back when i have more information.

  • yossiS

    At highway speeds, we are looking at consuming 3 kwh per mile. A 400 mile range would require something like a 1,500 kWh battery. At $300/kWh that’s $450,000 just for the battery. Charging the battery would either take days or incur outrageous
    demand charges.

  • Now the era of Conventional sources of energy is on its way. This has begun a new revolution.

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