Australian electric commercial vehicle maker SEA Electric is set to launch in the US. It will showcase two trucks at the Work Truck Show in Indianapolis during March and attend California’s Advanced Clean Transportation Expo in April. SEA Electric’s display vehicles are based on Ford and Isuzu platforms and the company says they are at an advanced build stage.
The Ford F-59 Stripped Chassis is powered by the SEA-Drive 120b power system, which produces 150 kW of continuous power and 250 kW of peakpower, as well as 1230 Nm of continuous torque and 2500 Nm of maximum torque. The second truck is a Pantech-body Isuzu NRR and also features the SEA-Drive 120b power system. SEA Electric says both vehicles have ranges of up to 220 miles.
Following the Work Truck Show, the company plans to begin in-service trials for both trucks. To guide these vehicles and future projects through US certification and distribution, SEA Electric has established its own site in Los Angeles and appointed its first US-based employees.
SEA Electric Director Tony Fairweather said that given the size of the market and its demand for EVs, establishing a presence in the US was a logical step forward for the company. “We see a lot of opportunities in the States, it’s an extremely large commercial vehicle market with a strong interest in sustainability – the US is an important part of our growth plans. The country’s high urbanization and sprawling cities also provide conditions where EVs can deliver operators a lot of efficiency gains.”
SEA Electric also has a Ford Transit van program underway, which it plans to begin trialing in April. This van features the SEA Drive 70 power system, which provides continuous power of 75 kW and maximum power of 134 kW, as well as 700 Nm of maximum torque, for up to 220 miles of range.
The manufacturer says that batteries for all three vehicles can be fully charged overnight in 4-6 hours using a 20 kW on-board charger, which allows drivers to charge using any three-phase power source.
Fairweather sees the SEA-Drive powered vehicles as ideal options for urban and metropolitan back-to-base distribution applications.
“For back-to-base operations EV technology is extremely attractive because at the end of the working day, these vehicles are conveniently charged overnight and ready to go again the next morning,” he said. “Operators can expect a payback period of less than four years on their SEA-Drive-powered truck or van, so with a battery lifecycle of approximately 10 years, there are great efficiencies to be gained over the whole life of the vehicle.”
The company is also expanding local assembly operations in Victoria, Australia, to increase production capacity up to 2,400 van, light commuter bus and truck units annually.