Isuzu NRR
The Pantech-bodied Isuzu NRR features the SEA Drive 120b power system.

Australian EV manufacturer sees opportunity in United States

After establishing base in Los Angeles, SEA Electric planning to show electric truck chassis at WTS, ACT Expo

Australian electric vehicle technology company SEA Electric plans to launch commercial vehicles in the United States.

The company said it is showcasing two trucks at the Work Truck Show (WTS) in March and Advanced Clean Transportation Expo in April.

The display vehicles are based on Ford and Isuzu platforms and are at an advanced build stage, SEA said, with assembly of the Ford F-59 ‘Stripped Chassis’ taking place at Ford’s DCP assembly facility in Detroit MI and the Isuzu NRR being assembled nearby at a third-party plant.

SEA Electric also recently established its own site in Los Angeles CA and appointed its first US-based employees to guide these new products and future projects through US certification and distribution, the company said.

Tony Fairweather, SEA Electric’s managing director, said establishing a presence in the United States was a “logical step forward” for the company, given the size of the market and its demand for electric vehicles (EVs).

“We see a lot of opportunities in the States,” Fairweather said. “It’s an extremely large commercial vehicle market with a strong interest in sustainability, (so) the US is an important part of our growth plans.

“The country’s high urbanization and sprawling cities also provide conditions where EV can deliver operators a lot of efficiency gains, not to mention the obvious environmental benefits.”

The Ford F-59 Stripped Chassis is powered by the SEA Drive 120b power system.

 

The Ford F-59 Stripped Chassis is powered by the SEA Drive 120b power system, which produces 150 kilowatts (kW) of continuous power, 250 kW of maximum power, continuous torque of 1,230 newton metres (Nm) and maximum torque of 2,500 Nm.

The second display truck is a Pantech-bodied Isuzu NRR also featuring the SEA Drive 120b power system.

Both vehicles have operating ranges of up to 350 kilometers (217.5 miles) and are expected to enter in-service trials with US fleets following WTS.

SEA also has a Ford Transit van program underway. It’s expected to enter a trial stage in April.

The van features the SEA Drive 70 power-system, which provides continuous power of 75 kW, maximum power of 134 kW and 700 Nm of maximum torque for an operating range of up to 350 km.

The company says the batteries for all three vehicles can be fully charged overnight in four to six hours using a 20 kW on-board charger, which allows them to be plugged in and charged from any three-phase power source.

“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,” Fairweather 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.”

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