The future of hauling freight: new electric semi unveiled in North Florida
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Performance Peterbilt of Tallahassee unveiled the company’s newest creation Friday, the 579 class eight electric semi-truck.
It’s one of two of its kind built by the American truck manufacturer and purchased by Quantix Supply Chain Services to haul tank containers and dry boxes 20 to 40 feet long.
Quantix President for Liquid Transportation David Perry purchased the EV semis for $350,000 a piece and said they’ll be operating in short-haul transports in the southeast. They will be ready to make their first haul in the next two weeks.
“We want to be leaders in our industry and come up with alternative sources for fuel,” Perry said.
Perry said one semi will be stationed in Savannah, Georgia and the other in Charleston, South Carolina where charging stations have already been set up.
However, Perry said the semis can plug into any traditional car charging station. The semis can be fully charged in six hours.
“What this tractor represents today is really leading edge,” Perry said. “It’s going to be more affordable in the future, and go longer ranges versus what we have today.”
Nathan Ried, president and chief executive officer of Performance Peterbilt of Tallahassee, said the semis which were hand-built at their manufacturing plant, are 100 percent emission-free.
“These could plug into those Tesla charging stations that you see around town,” Ried said. “In just six hours you can go down the interstate 65 to 75 mph with a full load of whatever you’re hauling.”
Ried said Peterbilt began working on making the emission-free vehicle a reality back in 2019 alongside Troy Basso, the vice president of maintenance for Quantix.
The controls in the semi are identical to those in its diesel-powered counterpart but without the cost of fuel or the need for oil changes. Ried said through preliminary data the semis cost between $5 and $6 to charge.
The high-tech rigs include radar on the front of the truck, as well as on the windshield, a camera recording the road from the driver’s vantage point and buzzers that will sound if the truck gets too close to another vehicle in front of it, or starts to drift lanes.
Quantix said they’re working to move 25 percent of their vehicle fleet to electric by 2030.
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