Author Archives: ATS Sales & Marketing

Navistar Launches New Business For Electrification

Navistar's NEXT eMobility Solutions to develop electric trucks and school buses.

Navistar announced recently a new business unit - NEXT eMobility Solutions - envisioned for customized electrification solutions (trucks and school buses).

The plan is to introduce on the market thefirst EVs next year:

  • from late 2020 electric school buses (IC Bus)
  • from early 2021 medium-duty electric trucks (International Truck)

"NEXT eMobility Solutions is dedicating a world-class, lean engineering team to developing the best products in the electric vehicle space, using a unique consultative philosophy that embraces the full range of customers' needs.

Vehicles developed by NEXT will be offered under the International Truck and IC Bus nameplates and will be sold and supported by International Truck and IC Bus dealers, respectively."

Persio Lisboa, Navistar executive vice president and Chief Operating Officer said:

"Companies interested in operating electric trucks have more questions than answers; they are looking for a partner who also brings clarity. NEXT combines the technical expertise required to develop leading electric vehicles with the industry experience to deliver custom solutions that go beyond the vehicle."

"NEXT will combine the lean and agile approach of a start-up with the proven engineering and manufacturing capabilities of Navistar. The team is well positioned to deliver rapid, customer-focused innovations in the eMobility space."

International eMV Series concept

At the North American Commercial Vehicle Show (October 28-31, 2019) Navistar unveiled an all-new International eMV Series concept.

It's an all-electric version of MV Series with up to 250 miles (400 km) of range:

  • range of up to 250 miles (400 km) *with 321 kWh battery pack
  • 107-321 kWh battery options
  • 474 kW (peak) electric motor and 300 kW continuous

"The International eMV Series concept is based on the production version of the diesel-powered International MV Series.  The truck features a redesigned aerodynamic hood for superior visibility and is powered by an electric motor with peak power of over 474 kW—or 645 HP—allowing it to be able to pull any load required.  The continuous power is 300 kW, or more than 400 HP, which is available at all times. The system, exclusive to Navistar, enables peak efficiency across the entire operating range.

The vehicle was designed to accommodate multiple battery capacity options that range from 107 to 321 kilowatt hours.  Navistar believes customers operating a truck with a 321 kWh battery in typical pickup and delivery cycles should expect to be able to travel up to 250 miles on a single charge."

Source: 11/2/19

Truck manufacturer Navistar to build plant in San Antonio, sources say

Truck maker Navistar International Corp. is looking to build a plant in the Mitchell Lake area on San Antonio’s South Side, say people familiar with the matter.

The Lisle, Ill.-based company ⁠— which manufactures commercial trucks, buses, military vehicles and engines ⁠— is expected to announce its intentions as early as Thursday.

Sources said Navistar will need a network of suppliers in the region to serve the plant, though it’s unclear if those companies would be located adjacent the manufacturer. The company is expected to hire as many as 500 workers initially.

It’s also unclear whether Navistar will seek city or county incentives to build the plant. The company operates manufacturing facilities in Ohio, Oklahoma, Illinois and Alabama as well as in Mexico and Brazil.


Source: Madison Iszler, Diego Mendoza-Moyers / on

Comcast has Reportedly Acquired Metrological

AMSTERDAM – Comcast has reportedly acquired Metrological, an application platform developer that integrates OTT video services and other content into the pay TV experience.

nScreenMedia analyst Colin Dixon first reported the news and confirmed it through an unnamed source. It’s unclear what the financial terms were for the potential deal.

For Comcast, the acquisition is likely geared toward further integrating third-party streaming apps and offering a full app store on its X1 video platform, which Comcast also white-labels to other operators including Cox.

As Dixon points out, X1 is built on RDK, an open source software platform for the connected home that standardizes core functions used in broadband devices, set-top boxes, and IoT solutions. But whereas a competing platform like Android TV has a large, built-in app store (Google Play), RDK does not.

Approximately one year ago, RDK Management addressed this by launching a new app program to make it easier to develop and launch apps across RDK-based set-top boxes. The program lets service providers use the new RDK App Framework to build and manage their own solutions, or choose a RDK pre-integrated app store solution, which is the Metrological App Store.

Metrological’s app store includes access to a library of more than 300 apps. It can also be used to launch video apps including Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime Video; local and regionalized apps; and includes the back-office tools needed to launch and manage the lifecycle of an app store.

If Comcast does indeed acquire Metrological, the deal will strengthen Comcast’s position as an aggregator of traditional pay TV content (linear, VOD, PPV) along with SVOD services. Comcast has been one of the most active U.S. operators in terms of integrating SVOD applications into its platform. Comcast also recently launched Xfinity Flex, a service for its broadband-only subscribers that provides a set-top box that functions as an aggregated video streaming hub and a smart home


Source: nScreenMedia

September 12, 2019: Awarded a contract to remanufacture electronic components for a Heavy Duty Truck Manufacturer

September 12, 2019

Carol Stream, IL

Advanced Technical Services (ATS) announced today that they have successfully completed the PPAP process for a Heavy Duty Truck Manufacturer and have been awarded a contract to remanufacture electronic components for this OEM.

No further details were available in regards to unit types or annual volumes.

When asked about the addition, ATS company President, Dave Vikartofsky, said that we are very excited to be supporting this new Automotive customer.

Our roots are in Automotive Electronic Remanufacturing and to be adding an Automotive OEM with products where we have decades of direct support experience seems like it will be an excellent fit for both parties.

For more information about ATS product and service offerings please visit the company’s website

Comcast Multifamily Unit Announces ‘Smart Communities’ Project in Chicago

Partnership will equip 50 rental units in two MDU properties with smart thermostats and lighting Xfinity Communities, a unit of Comcast devoted to servicing multifamily dwellings, has announced a new smart communities project in Chicago.

The operator has partnered with Chicago-based property manager Kass Management Services to integrate smart devices, including thermostats and lightening, into 50 rental units across two properties. These devices will enable renters to control lighting and room temperature via app.

Property owners, meanwhile, will have similar control in public areas of the buildings, as well as in vacant apartments.

“Home automation is a burgeoning market, and we’re thrilled to bring it to Chicago area apartment dwellers,” said Chris Smith, Comcast’s regional VP of marketing and sales, in a statement. “Tenants are going to appreciate the control they have over their units, and property managers are going to appreciate the convenience and control this technology will give them over their properties.”

Added Mark Durakovic, principal, Kass Management Services Inc.: “Creating smart communities by integrating smart home technology into our properties makes life easier and more convenient for residents and may even help them have more control over their utility usage,”. “In a competitive rental market like Chicago’s, smart features help to differentiate properties, add value and attract residents.”




Comcast Commits Millions to Harmonic’s ‘CableOS’ Platform

Harmonic's cable access network virtualization initiative got another lift this week amid word that Comcast had committed to pay millions in the coming years for an enterprise license for the vendor's CableOS platform.

According to an 8-K document filed Tuesday by Harmonic, Comcast has elected for enterprise licensing for CableOS effective July 1, and has committed to $175 million in software license fees over the four-year term of the deal.

CableOS, Harmonic's virtual Converged Cable Access Platform, is designed to run on commercial off-the-shelf hardware and support both centralized and newer distributed forms of the hybrid fiber/cable (HFC) network.

The new enterprise agreement is also subject to certain incentive credits that Comcast could earn pursuant to other purchases of CableOS-related products, Harmonic said.

Harmonic noted that Comcast will pay the initial $50 million of the enterprise license fees in 2019.

The enterprise license and monetary commitment is a clear sign that Comcast is moving forward with a plan to deploy CableOS, or a variety of it optimized for the MSO's networks, and ties into a broader effort to virtualize Comcast's access network.

As reported by Light Reading in May, Comcast is also considering a syndication model for a virtual cable modem termination system that would be powered in part by Harmonic's CableOS platform. If that bears fruit, it could enable Comcast to license a vCCAP product to other cable operators similar to how it syndicates X1 today to cable operators such as Cox Communications, Rogers Communications, Shaw Communications and Videotron.

For Harmonic, the new deal tightens its ties to Comcast while also shoring up its competitive positioning against other vendors that have developed or are developing virtualization products for cable networks. That group includes CommScope/Arris, Vecima, Cisco Systems, Nokia and Casa Systems.

The new enterprise license also follows an earlier warrants deal involving common stock of Harmonic based on Comcast's purchase and adoption of Harmonic products, including CableOS. According to the terms of that deal, signed in the fall of 2016, Comcast has the right to purchase up to 7.8 million shares of Harmonic at an exercise price of $4.76.

Harmonic said it deemed that the remaining milestones and thresholds required to fulfill each of the vesting requirements of the warrant agreement have been satisfied, achieved or otherwise waived.

Signs of life for virtualized, distributed cable networks
The new deal, which appears to be of a higher commitment than those initial warrants agreements, is a clear sign that Comcast's work with virtualization and distributed access architectures is progressing, said Jeff Heynen, research director of broadband access and home networking at Dell'Oro.

The new agreement also sets up Harmonic to see some decent positive momentum with CableOS in Q2 and ramp up further throughout 2019, he added. Harmonic is set to announce Q2 2019 results on July 29.

Investors cheered the deal. Harmonic shares rose 62 cents (10.37%) to $6.60 each in after-hours trading Tuesday following word of the new deal with Comcast.



Mobile Electronics Installation & Service Technician

Looking for 12V/24V Installation/ Service Technician Subcontractors in Chicago, IL, Milwaukee, WI & Minneapolis, MN regions.

We are seeking Subcontractors with a minimum of 1 year experience in the Installation and effective diagnosis/repair of electronic GPS Fleet tracking systems, mobile electronics and communication equipment.

Most work is performed at Customer sites. Outdoor work is required regularly in all weather conditions.

Technicians must be self-starters with professional appearance and excellent interpersonal communication skills.  Must also have own insurance, tools, reliable car, valid driver’s license and good driving record.

If interested, send relevant work history, list of products you have installed and contact information to Duane at:

Costco’s rising used-car sales grab attention

After a big jump in used-vehicle sales in 2018, Costco Auto Program expects those sales to keep growing — perhaps even double in 2020 — as more automakers contact the company about offering Costco promotions.

Talks are ongoing with "several" automakers about using the program to drive sales of certified pre-owned and incoming off-lease vehicles, said Rick Borg, Costco Auto Program executive vice president of operations. Borg declined to name the automakers but called them major players. They are automakers that have used the Costco program, as well as some new to the program, a spokeswoman said.

Any resulting partnerships would involve automakers' franchised dealerships, Borg said.

"We're not going to get into a scenario where it's going to exclude the dealer body," he said.

With the volume of off-lease vehicles expected to peak this year, Costco Auto Program, which offers discounts to Costco members on new and used vehicles, is forecasting sales of 110,000 used vehicles in 2019. That would represent a 5.8 percent gain from 2018.

Last year, the program's used-vehicle sales soared 57 percent to 104,000 vehicles. New-vehicle sales last year rose 21 percent to about 543,000 vehicles. In the first quarter of 2019, used-vehicle sales through the program rose 8.7 percent to around 23,000 vehicles, a spokeswoman said. First-quarter new-vehicle sales rose 4.4 percent to around 90,000.

Given planned marketing initiatives and interest from automakers, the program should be able to double its used-vehicle sales in 2020, Borg said.

Costco Auto Program has around 3,300 participating franchised dealerships. Around 1,200 of those sell automaker certified pre-owned vehicles through the program, as well as Costco's own Select Pre-Owned vehicles.

The Select Pre-Owned program is for lightly used vehicles that cannot become automaker certified because, for example, they're sold at a dealership that doesn't represent the brand on the new-vehicle side. Select Pre-Owned cars and trucks must have at least six months and 6,000 miles left on their original factory warranty. Costco's Select Pre-Owned program is in 12 urban markets, having opened in four in 2018.

The Costco program could add dealerships, but growth would be slow. The company works with just one dealership per brand in a given market.

"We're naturally self-limiting on our dealer body," Borg said.

As of Wednesday, May 8, Costco operated 535 U.S. stores and had more than 50 million membership cardholders.

Automakers also are considering arranging discounts for Costco members on parts-and-service work, Borg said. The company is in talks with automakers, so he declined to give specifics. But he said possible initiatives stem from automakers trying to get more competitive in the service drive.

Costco's parts-and-service program offers members a 15 percent discount on parts and larger services — items such as oil changes are not included. Use of that program rose 68 percent in 2018.

Meanwhile, the retailer continues to partner with automakers on member incentives for select new vehicles. For instance, through a tie-up with Honda, eligible Costco members can get a $500 Costco cash card after the purchase or lease of a 2018 and 2019 Ridgeline pickup through July 8.

Members also qualify for $1,000 spiffs on new Volvo S60, S90, V60, V90, V90 Cross Country, XC60 and XC90 vehicles through July 1, or $3,000 for new S60 T6 R-Design and S60 T6 Inscription cars. That's in addition to a $100 Costco cash card for completing a survey.


Apple iPhones get recycled in this secretive lab. Now it’s opening up

Hidden not far from downtown Austin, Texas, a research lab is working to change the way we recycle electronics. And it's being run by Apple.

If you don't know exactly where it is, you'll definitely miss it.

There are no signs. The parking lot is almost empty. There's an unremarkable door at the bottom of a set of generic cement stairs. It looks like the back entrance to a rundown mall.

But inside is a 9,000-square-foot warehouse where, just a stone's throw from the front door, you'll find one of the most interesting robots in the world.

Meet Daisy. Daisy is 33 feet long, has five arms and can methodically deconstruct any of 15 iPhone models -- from 2012's iPhone 5 to 2018's iPhone XS -- at a rate of 200 per hour. In a coordinated and sometimes violent dance, Daisy removes the screen, battery, screws, sensors, logic board and wireless charging coil, leaving its husk of an aluminum shell.

Apple invited me here not just to see Daisy in action, but also the Material Recovery Lab that's been built up around it. Last year, Apple announced Daisy for the first time to the world via a press release and video. Now it's inviting in academics, recyclers and other companies to learn how Daisy works.

And, hopefully, use its technology to make e-recycling around the world better.

"This is about the big, hairy goal of making all our products from recycled materials," said Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, in an interview. "It's going to take a while, but it'll also take tons of innovation.

Apple thinks sharing what it's learned could help others, too.

And as it happens, we could use all the help we can get. A United Nations report found that in 2016, the world created 44.7 million metric tons of e-waste, or 2.1 million Statues of Liberty stacked together. And just 20% of that, or 8.9 million metric tons, was recycled.

When other electronics like laptops, printers and monitors are recycled, they don't go through a Daisy. They're put in a shredder or a hammerlike pounder that breaks apart the devices in an effort to expose the elements inside. This process often mixes materials together, making them impure and less valuable. Still, a series of sifters and magnets attempt to collect the recyclable materials before the rest is thrown out.

That's right: Recycling produces trash too.

This is where Apple thinks it can help. If recyclers can learn how to more easily take apart technology, they can more efficiently collect the valuable materials. Give a recycler a bunch of copper charging coils, and it's better than asking it to break apart a phone in search of them.

Apple thinks this can be done in part because it's starting to get there itself.It's going to take a while, but it'll also take tons of innovation.Apple VP Lisa Jackson

Apple is one of the world's top phone makers, shipping an estimated 218 million iPhones last year alone. Sometime this year it may pass 1.5 billion iPhones since the first one debuted, meaning in a little over a decade, Apple's shipped enough phones to circle the planet more than 13 times.

That's great for Apple's bottom line, and helped to turn the Cupertino company from a niche computer maker into one of the world's most highly valued companies -- ever. But it's not so great for an employee's conscience.

Apple's mammoth success -- and the business of countless other computer and gadget makers -- has come at a high cost, counted in untold tons of aluminum, cobalt, copper, glass, gold, lithium, paper, plastic, steel, tantalum, tin, tungsten, zinc and many other raw materials that are smelted, extruded, compressed, etched and polished into the magical device you're using to read this story.

"You have a perfect storm brewing of everyone needs this stuff and the supply is rapidly shrinking," said Callie Babbitt, an associate professor of sustainability at Rochester Institute of Technology. Some materials could be used up in the next half century, she said, leaving us without key components for the screens on our TVs and tablets, or pieces that help magnets make the alert vibrations on our watches and phones.

Another problem comes when we upgrade to new devices, something the tech industry encourages through warranty expirations and payment contracts. Our old ones often go in a drawer as a backup "just in case" phone. Or we may ship them off to an e-recycler that shreds or smashes them to collect the materials as efficiently as possible. Worse, we might just toss our once-loved phone into a landfill.

You could see Daisy as Apple's attempt to right some of these wrongs. But if you squint and look another way, Daisy might look like an expensive and cynical PR ploy by one of the world's richest companies to whitewash the damage it's doing to the planet through its massive size.

"I call her Daisy the Deathbot," said Kyle Wiens.

Wiens is a tech repair advocate and head of online instruction site iFixit. He's spent his career doggedly challenging Apple and other tech companies to make their devices easier to repair.

He's also spoken to legislators around the country to encourage "right to repair" laws, forcing companies to allow people access to tools and information to service their devices. And in 2016, he sold $21 million worth of toolkits and parts to help people swap out bad screens, cameras, buttons and batteries on their devices.

I asked Wiens what it would take to convince him that Apple is serious about all this green stuff. What would it take for Apple to live up to its feel-good advertising, like when it publishes "environmental status" reports touting how its devices are free of certain chemicals? And when would it be meaningful that Apple's latest MacBook Air chassis are made of 100% recycled aluminum, including some from iPhones?I call her Daisy the Deathbot.Kyle Wiens, head of iFixit

One challenge is Apple's secretive culture, he said. The company holds so many things close to the vest, from its plans for the next iPhones to the repair manuals to fix them to the technology behind Daisy. That makes it hard for us to determine what's real and what's just marketing.

What if Apple did the next best thing and let companies come in, see how Daisy works and try to retrofit some of that technology to existing recycling programs?

"That would be interesting," Wiens said.

The iPhone afterlife

Apple built Daisy to help with what's known as end-of-life iPhones. It would cost too much to refurbish these devices back to perfect working order, so Daisy guts them instead, stripping out their parts to be recycled into raw copper, aluminum, cobalt and other materials so they can be used anew.

All told, of the roughly 9 million iPhones Apple received back from customers last year, 7.8 million were refurbished and sent to new users, while 1.2 million were sent to Daisy.

Apple understands not everyone has near-infinite money and resources like it does. The iPhone maker notched nearly $20 billion in profit during the holiday season last year, and it has more than $245 billion in cash and investments to draw from. That helps pay for the significant cost behind building  expensive machines like Daisy.

To point other companies in the right direction, Apple's purchased large shredders and pounding machines you find at most e-recyclers around the world. It's also set up tables alongside them so that the people who come into its lab can work with Apple to retrofit technology like Daisy's innovations onto the existing technology most recyclers already have.

Apple plans to patent and license Daisy's technology too.

"Technology by definition is all about the new, about things that couldn't happen before but now it can because of some remarkable innovation," Apple VP Jackson said.

Jackson joined Apple in 2013 after a long career in government, working as the commissioner of environmental protection in New Jersey, the chief of staff to the governor of New Jersey and ultimately, for President Barack Obama, as the first African American to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

At Apple, Jackson has risen to become its top policy person, overseeing social initiatives, governmental affairs and environmental work, like Daisy.

During a panel session a couple years ago, she said Apple's focused its efforts on durability, with the understanding that its products will often have two or three owners before they might get recycled. "We're committed to a circular economy approach to manufacturing," she said then, underscoring how the company wants to encourage people not to hold onto devices or toss them in drawers, but to give them back to Apple so they don't end up wasted or in landfills.

"There's 100-plus elements in an iPhone, and we're looking at how to move them back through the chain," she added. "The business opportunity is to come to Apple and say 'Hey, I have a process for getting cobalt out of batteries,' or 'I have a process for getting tungsten.'" Then, Apple will pay for it.

Ultimately, Apple said, it wants to create a "closed loop" of recycling. At Apple, that means taking in devices and either refurbishing them to good-as-new and sending them off, or recycling them so the materials can be used again in new devices.

So far, it's begun sending the iPhone batteries Daisy pulls out to a recycler who uses the cobalt to make new batteries for Apple products. The company also uses 100% recycled tin in the solder on the logic boards of 11 products. And don't forget those 100% recycled aluminum MacBook Air housings.

Apple isn't the only one with a robust environmental program, but it's on a short list. Not far from Apple, Round Rock-based computer maker Dell, the third biggest PC maker, has been using recycled ocean plastics in its packaging. It's also been pushing sustainability, waste-free shipping packages and refurbishment.

Typically a phone with a cracked screen can be refurbished and sent back into the wild.CNET

HP, the second biggest PC maker, said that its paper and packaging no longer come from deforestation, that some of its products are made with recycled plastics and that it offers some of the most easily repairable computers in the industry.

Lenovo, the world's largest computer maker, says it's been increasing its use of recycled plastics in the devices it sells.

And Samsung, the world's largest phone maker, says it's recovered 28.3 million metric tons of its products, including TVs and refrigerators, to be refurbished or e-cycled. It's also pledged to create a "closed loop" recycling program, similar to Apple's efforts.

But experts say all the tech giants have a ways to go before they undo the waste their customers put into the world.

"The companies are experts at creating products, but not experts at reverse logistics, bringing their products back to the smelters of the world," said Mathy Stanislaus, a fellow at the World Resources Institute.

Daisy is actually Apple's second-gen recycling robot. The first was called Liam. Announced in 2016, it was designed to work with the iPhone 6.

Apple chose to focus on the iPhone because it's among the toughest products to recycle and because it sold a bunch of them. Eventually, Jackson said, the lab will work on iPads, Macs and even AirPods too.

Getting there Whether Apple will attract academics, recyclers and other companies to participate in its new program is an open question.

In the meantime, it's also working to collect more unused or destroyed iPhones to either refurbish or send them to Daisy. The company said US customers can now return iPhones to Best Buy stores too.

It's also expanded its iPhone Upgrade Program, a monthly installment plan people can use to pay for their iPhones. When new devices come out, they can merely turn in their old iPhone and get a new one, restarting the clock with a new installment plan. As you probably guessed, those phones either get refurbished or sent to Daisy.

A next step could be for Apple to fully lease phones to us, said Jim Puckett, executive director of the electronics waste watchdog group Basel Action Network. That would help to cut down on waste, as we'd give the phone back to Apple with each new upgrade.

"Apple's the brand to do it, because their demographic cares about the environment," he said.

At the end of my visit to Apple's facility, I took a moment amid the cacophony of Daisy's servos and punches pushing screws out of the iPhones to look around at Apple's otherwise sparse facility.

While people may not agree on Apple's motivations, or its methods, no one disagrees about the problem. It's no surprise that Apple's hired into its ranks former Obama-era government workers who are passionate about climate change, its effects on the planet and the role companies like Apple play.

The question is whether Liam, Daisy and Apple can truly make a difference. I hope they do.

IAN SHERR / APRIL 18, 2019 5:00 AM PDT

Taking electric vehicles from science project to reality

March 06, 2019 / Brian Straight

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana. Medium-duty truck applications seem primed to accept a rapid deployment of truck electrification projects, but several factors continue to slow progress, including infrastructure. Weight considerations, range limitations and more are limiting opportunities right now for electrification, but that is changing as manufacturers work to solve these challenges.

“It’s a large market, but a very diverse market with a lot of unique challenges,” explained Jim Castelaz, founder and chief technology officer of Motiv Power Systems, during a presentation on Tuesday on truck electrification at the NTEA’s Green Truck Summit.

Founded 10 years ago, Motiv has developed two unique chassis as part of its EPIC chassis program and has seen its electric powertrain installed in a variety of vehicles, from delivery vans and buses, to shuttles and refuse trucks. Castelaz said that the driver of adoption is the lower prices for battery packs, which he said now cost about $197 per kilowatt hour.

“In medium-duty trucks, if you are under $200 an hour, you are really in the money,” he said. “Two hundred dollars per kilowatt battery packs are game-changing.”

For the foreseeable future, Castelaz sees medium-duty applications as the place to be for electric.

“The two biggest hurdles for electric is range anxiety and charging infrastructure, but you really don’t have those issues in medium-duty [trucks],” he said, noting that most medium-duty applications involve fixed routes with many stops and starts (which can take advantage of regenerative braking technology to recoup wasted braking energy). The trucks are then domiciled at night at a depot.

Bill Combs, director of Connected Fleet for Penske Truck Leasing, echoed some of Castelaz’s thoughts, mentioning that Penske is working with Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) to deploy the Freightliner eM2 medium-duty electric Class 6-7 truck and the eCascadia, DTNA’s Class 8 electric model.

“The goal is to place these vehicles with our customers,” he said, and learn over the next two years what works and what doesn’t. This includes working closely with DTNA to adjust battery placement and adjust other specifications to maximize the vehicle’s productivity.

“We want to make sure this is not a science project, but that we are [putting trucks in fleet’s hands so they can succeed],” he said.

Combs began his presentation by pointing out what we “know” about electric trucks – they reduce air pollution, fuel costs, maintenance costs and noise. “But how will we [really] know?” he asked. The vehicles need to be deployed in real-world applications with real fleets hauling real freight, Combs said, and that is what Penske is trying to accomplish.

Jasmin Kluge, project manager of alternative fuels for Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America, a Daimler Trucks business, pointed out that Fuso has been working on electric trucks for years and has its eCanter Class 6 truck in operation around the world, including with customers in North America. Series production on that vehicle is slated for 2020.

“The electrification of trucks, which are a backbone of our society, is critical to our [future],” she said.

Kluge said Fuso has trucks operating in Houston, Los Angeles, New York, North Carolina and Pittsburgh, and the company is seeing ranges of 60 to 80 miles. The weight of the electric system reduces payload from about 1,000 pounds to around 9,000 pounds. She called on more cooperation between stakeholders to improve infrastructure and speed deployment.

“The electrification of trucks will be an important driver for cleaner cities,” Kluge said.

All the speakers reiterated the need for groups to work together. “It takes a village is a saying, but we really think it takes an industry,” Combs said.

Motiv’s Castelaz related some of the experiences of its early customers, including AmeriPride. The uniform delivery company has expanded its use of Motiv’s system on Ford F-59 chassis vans to include 30 vehicles, up from an original order of 10. Those vehicles have run more than 100,000 miles to date with an operational savings of 85 percent. The biggest issue, Castelaz said, was building the infrastructure.

“The challenge in low-income communities is that the infrastructure is not as strong, so it takes longer to deploy,” he said.

Castelaz also pointed to a project with Mountain View/Google, which is running electric Ford E-450 chassis with the Motiv EPIC system. Those vehicles run 13-mile loops, making about 30 stops each, and have been getting an effective range of 60 to 80 miles.

“I think we are at an interesting inflection point and it’s because of the battery pack costs and it’s leading us into the future,” Castelaz said.

Combs summed up all the Green Truck speakers on the day across various panels when he said that application fit is most important.

“It’s very important to understand that these trucks are not going to solve every use case,” he said.