Terminal Investment Corp. (TICO), a fleet and terminal service provider and tractor manufacturer, is working on its first electric terminal tractors as part of two separate partnerships with Volvo Penta and Cummins.
Starting in the fourth quarter of 2021, TICO plans to work with customers nationwide to test the electric tractors in several different environments and with different payloads, Frank Tubbert, the general manager of manufacturing at TICO, told FreightWaves. He said testing this way will provide useful performance data.
With these partnerships, TICO aims to create a more environmentally sustainable tractor, reduce maintenance costs and downtime, and increase customer and driver satisfaction.
TICO is providing an “inherent understanding of the specific needs and challenges of fleet operators,” which is helping Volvo Penta develop a viable long-term electric solution, Martin Bjuve, president at Volvo Penta of the Americas, told FreightWaves.
“Providing industry-leading electrified powertrain solutions for industrial markets is an important step in getting to a zero-emissions future,” Brian Wilson, general manager of electrified components at Cummins, said in a statement.
The shift toward electric vehicles (EV), especially electric yard vehicles, is happening quickly. Because terminal vehicles do not have to travel long distances on a single charge and can use the same charging stations when they are not in use, electrifying these vehicles makes sense.
Heavy-duty diesel vehicles do not operate well in low-usage environments while running at speeds lower than 25 miles per hour, Tubbert said. He added that electric terminal tractors could benefit the environment and the bottom line with fewer maintenance needs and less air pollution.
Preorders for the electric terminal tractors are expected to be available starting in 2022. Tubbert predicted that tractors would be delivered within six to nine months of making an order in the beginning. As production and forecasting improve, he said it should be closer to a four- to six-month wait.
“Historically, we have led the development of the most effective alternative powertrain technologies, as evidenced by our success in building the industry’s first compressed natural gas terminal tractors for our fleet partners. These new partnerships with Volvo Penta and Cummins continue our tradition of bringing the technologies of the future to the marketplace,” Tubbert said in a statement.