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Webasto reveals modular battery system, thermal management, charging stations

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Webasto reveals modular battery system, thermal management, charging stations
Use of the elements ranges from passenger cars to Class 8 trucks. (Courtesy: WEBASTO)

FENTON, Mich. — Webasto, one of the top 100 global automotive suppliers, continues to stake a claim in the rapidly expanding e-mobility segment of the commercial vehicle and automotive marketplace.

The company exhibited elements of a new modular battery system, thermal management and charging solutions in Ford Motor Co.’s booth recently at the 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Webasto won Ford’s 2019 Best of Show Stand Award for Outstanding Achievement in Design for Mustang Lithium, a one-off battery electric prototype with 1,000 ft-lbs of torque and over 900 horsepower.

Use of the elements ranges from passenger cars to Class 8 trucks.

“Webasto first entered the electric vehicle market in 2014 with the high voltage heater, as part of its strategic plan to serve its OEM customers as they moved more decisively into the e-mobility space,” said Mark Denny, president and CEO of Webasto Customized Solutions in North America. “Our expansion into battery systems, battery testing equipment, thermal management and charging systems means that both small and large manufacturers now have a respected supplier with decades of experience working within the complex vehicle manufacturing environment, as well as with dealers across North America, Europe and China.”

The Webasto CV standard battery system is designed for total scalability and configuration flexibility, Denny said.

Each battery pack has 35 kWh of energy and up to 10 packs can be used for a combined 350 kWh. With 400V and 800V versions available, the system can be easily configured via the vehicle interface box (VIB), which is the master battery management system and power distribution unit. It is truly a plug-and-play system that reduces development time and cost for the vehicle manufacturer.

Within the battery pack, the self-contained modules also include desiccant cartridges that reduce condensation, integrated thermal runaway detection sensors and state-of-the-art pressure equalization monitors for added safety. Their compact, energy-dense format makes the battery packs easy for engineers to configure for use on virtually any vehicle platform, Denny said

Using the Mustang Lithium to show their capabilities of both designing custom energy storage solutions and supplying off-the-shelf standard battery packs, Webasto set the stage for today’s revelation that its commercial vehicle (CV) Standard Battery System is available in North America. With this modular battery system, Webasto meets the requirements of several commercial vehicle manufacturers to have a cost-efficient solution even for small quantities

Conditioning the battery is essential for battery life and health. Webasto offers both off-the-shelf solutions for the CV Standard Battery and custom developments for OEM projects. Using both active and passive cooling, electric fluid heating and heat pump configurations, the Webasto thermal management keeps battery systems in optimum operating temperature which have a positive effect on performance and range.

At the Mustang Lithium display, Webasto also featured its TurboDX Level-2 charging station. The charging unit that was shown connected to the Mustang Lithium is compatible with both plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles, and perfect for home, business and multi-unit dwelling applications.

The Webasto charging solution features a slim, compact design, a durable aluminum rear enclosure and a quick-read charging status indicator.

Webasto also offers the TurboCord portable vehicle charger. The TurboCord lets users take their charger with them wherever they go. It can be plugged directly into any standard 120-volt electrical outlet, or even a 240V outlet for quicker charge times, allowing total charging flexibility and freedom.

“With the introduction of our new modular battery system, thermal management and charging technologies, Webasto has demonstrated its commitment to vertically integrate itself within the North American commercial vehicle and automotive e-mobility marketplace,” Denny said.

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Transflo adds Surfsight video technology to its platform of freight solutions

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Transflo adds surfsight vehicle video technology to its platform of freight solutions
Surfsight provides real-time video visibility and insight into fleet performance and challenging situations on the road, helping fleets reduce risk and insurance claims while improving safety and productivity. (Courtesy: Transflo)

TAMPA, Florida — Transflo, a mobile, telematics and business process automation provider to the transportation industry, has announced the AI-12 Dual Facing Dashcam solution as part of its Mobile+ ecosystem of digital and telematics solutions for truck fleets and drivers.

Surfsight provides real-time video visibility and insight into fleet performance and challenging situations on the road, helping fleets reduce risk and insurance claims while improving safety and productivity.

Integrated with Transflo’s telematics platform, the cloud-connected Surfsight dashcam uses front-facing and cabin-facing cameras. The camera uses built-in artificial intelligence to detect hazards on the road, and infrared to recognize driver distractions in the vehicle. The driver is automatically alerted.

Surfsight streams from vehicles to secure cloud-based servers, providing fleet managers with continuous access to video. Managers can review video of groups or individual vehicles via a customized, secure, online dashboard using a web browser running on any type of device. Surfsight also provides access to on-demand video retrieval and review on the company’s cloud platform.

Surfsight dashcams cost just $200 and monthly subscriptions start at $25 per month as part of Transflo Bundle+, which extends the capabilities of the Transflo Mobile+ platform.

“Increasingly, video is an important tool for improving safety and operational visibility,” said Doug Schrier, vice president of product and innovation for Transflo. “The Transflo Bundle+ platform is the ideal way to incorporate vehicle video and telematics into your digital workflow.”

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U.S. trailer net orders closed 2019 down 51% from full-year 2018

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U.s. trailer net orders closed 2019 down 51% from full-year 2018
ACT Research reports that even though most of the major trailer categories showed month-over-month gains, the drop in dry can orders was enough to put the total industry results in the red.

COLUMBUS, Ind. – New U.S. trailer orders of 18,400 were down 13% month-over-month in December, and after accounting for cancellations, net orders of 17,700 dropped 11%. Longer-term comparisons show net orders down 35% year-over-year and 51% lower compared to full-year 2018, according to this month’s issue of ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailer Report.

ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers report provides a monthly review of the current US trailer market statistics, as well as trailer OEM build plans and market indicators divided by all major trailer types, including backlogs, build, inventory, new orders, cancellations, net orders and factory shipments. It is accompanied by a database that gives historical information from 1996 to the present.

“While seven of the ten major trailer categories posted month-over-month gains, the sequential 32% drop in dry van orders was significant enough to pull the total industry results into the red,” said Frank Maly, director of CV transportation analysis and research at ACT Research. “Continued softness in both freight volumes and rates are generating financial headwinds for fleets, and as a result, their investment plans continue to be extremely cautious.”

Maly continued, “Fleets are aware that, as a result of weaker OEM orderboards, lead times are dramatically shorter than this time last year, so any orders placed now are likely to be delivered in a much more acceptable timeframe. It is also likely that pricing will be more advantageous.”

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Peterbilt delivers model 579EV to Werner for electric-powered truck pilot program

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Peterbilt has partnered with Werner Enterprises for their electric operations. The 579EV utilizes a TransPower Energy Storage Subsystem. (Courtesy: Peterbilt)

DENTON, Texas ­— Werner Enterprises has selected the Peterbilt Model 579EV for their battery electric-powered truck pilot program.

“Werner Enterprises has long been regarded as an industry pioneer, and Peterbilt is honored to partner with them and have our 579EV lead their electric operations,” said PACCAR Vice President and Peterbilt General Manager, Jason Skoog. “Peterbilt is leading the charge in electric vehicle development, with three applications for zero-emissions performance.”

The 579EV delivered to Werner utilizes a TransPower Energy Storage Subsystem with a total storage capacity of 352 kWh.  It is driven by a Meritor Blue-Horizon Mid-Ship Motor Drive Subsystem with up to 430 HP, features an estimated range of about 150 miles and a charging time as little as 1-hour when a fast-charging system is utilized.

Funding for the tractor was provided through the California Air Resource Board California Climate Investments (CCI) program, along with the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

“Werner is committed to finding alternative ways to keep our trucks environmentally-friendly while staying at the front edge of technology,” said Werner Enterprises President and Chief Executive Officer Derek Leathers. “Now, we’re excited about putting on some real-world miles with a dedicated customer in southern California over the next year.”

Pricing and option availability for 579EVs will be available on the Peterbilt’s SmartSpec sales tool in the second half of 2020.

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