Edison Hybrid trucks combine diesel and electric drives

I like hybrid electrical powertrains, so I used to be excited to see these being produced. A few of our readers could keep in mind an article I wrote on the historical past of hybrid automobiles and in that article I listed fairly a number of of the latest hybrids which are accessible to the general public (click on right here to see that article)

Don’t get me unsuitable, I nonetheless do love EV’s, however…by me supporting hybrids, it permits each side to hate me! However are there any “actual” advantages to a hybrid? I’d say sure, and I feel the most important one is the charging infrastructure. I dwell in a small city in central Kansas, and if I purchased any form of EV, I’d must have my very own charger in my storage. I don’t know what somebody must do in the event that they lived in a rental, and it appears as if the whole subsequent technology should lease whereas being unable to afford to purchase a home.

That being mentioned, as you cross the nation, generally the general public chargers are full with a ready line, or they’re damaged and don’t work, or they’re even the unsuitable kind of charger. (To see our article on charging plug requirements, click on right here). With a hybrid drivetrain, there is no such thing as a vary nervousness, as a result of you may have an engine on board to drive a generator.

A “parallel hybrid” is sort of a Toyota Prius that enables a motor OR engine to drive the transmission, however…the Edison vans have a series-hybrid drivetrain the place the engine solely drives a generator. Edison makes use of a big battery pack, which additionally makes it a “plug in” hybrid, that means it has the aptitude to function as an electrical solely drivetrain for brief ranges, and that is my private favourite model.

Actually, the series-hybrid drivetrain is well-known from cargo-train locomotives all internationally, and in addition from WWII submarines. I used to be a crew-member on a nuclear-powered submarine from 1978 until 1981, and regardless that the reactor merely made steam for a quite simple turbine drive, we additionally had a series-hybrid diesel-electric back-up system, and that Fairbanks-Morse diesel was part of my job. I’m certain it’s out of date tech by now, and we used a really massive room-sized lead-acid battery, however…none-the-less…my submarine might make it dwelling on the diesel-electric drive if wanted.


The Drive System

The pic beneath reveals the electrical motor tailored to a regular “off the shelf” drive axle discovered on the tractors used on 18-wheelers. Edison can construct a buyer a ground-up new tractor, or adapt their system to an present tractor, if a buyer already owns one. You may have them construct a truck with one, two, and even three drive-axles, plus different customized choices seen farther beneath.

This graphic beneath is a structure of the drive system they will set up in nearly any widespread truck body, similar to a Kenworth, Peterbilt, Mack, or others. Their battery packs are the black packing containers in the midst of the system, simply in entrance of the drive-axles, tucked up safely away from highway particles. The inline 6-cylinder Caterpillar diesel is a standard and well-regarded drive unit that spins a big generator. Underneath regular working situations, these engines routinely drive over 1,000,000 miles earlier than overhaul, and as a hybrid drivetrain, I absolutely anticipate that quantity to be double.

The hybrid-drive system elements that Edison selected are from Danfoss Editron (click on right here to see their web site). The diesel engines are from Caterpillar (to see their web site click on right here). The battery pack modules are made by Flodraulic from Toronto. (click on right here to see their web site). The generator is the Danfoss EM-PMI540-T2000.

Edison can convert a truck that you simply already personal, however in addition they buy generic frames to construct a brand-new tractor to their spec. They place an emphasis on entry to all elements and ease of restore. This actually appealed to me since I typically carry out the upkeep and restore of my very own automobiles, and I incessantly see discussions on the web on how tough wiring issues are for brand spanking new automobiles. Store-time is pricey, and if a mechanic must take away the dash-board to carry out a “minor restore” on a heater core…it’ll be costly.

Their new-built vans are the “L” collection, with the L500 having two drive axles, and the L750 having three.

Their first software was a truck that’s working the mountains in Canada, and that is one space the place an electrical drive actually shines. The vast majority of my time driving a CDL truck was on a easy 2×5 10-speed, which is quite common. Nonetheless I did spend a while for some time on a 10-speed with a gear-splitter for the mountains, for a complete of 20 very close-ratio speeds accessible.

A truck with a full load that’s pressured to cease at a pink mild on an uphill was the worst a part of that job. You needed to be cautious to keep away from stalling the engine or frying the clutch, and on the identical time you had been going by way of each gear whereas accelerating at a painfully gradual charge.

One other concern is braking on lengthy/steep downhills with a full load. I can’t emphasize sufficient how helpful it’s to have regenerative braking. Should you’ve ever heard a truck making a loud BR-BR-BR-BR sound on a downhill, he was “engine braking” by downshifting the transmission to a decrease gear and utilizing the resistance of the engine to decelerate as a lot as doable, with the help of the “Jacobs Brake”. What this does is scale back how sizzling the inventory brakes are going to be on a protracted downhill.

Not solely does the Edison truck system have regen braking, it nonetheless has the usual truck brakes. Consequently, Edison vans are objectively safer on the roads than the non-electric vans.

Electrical motors don’t want a clutch, and so they have the total torque of the system from the primary RPM. I’d have cherished having an Edison truck on my mountain drives. Since AWD vans exist (whereas utilizing a standard steerable-axle interface) Edison can simply make a specialty body with a 6×6 drive, and even an 8×8 drive as proven on the graphic, proven right here beneath…

This could be a superb place to repeat that one of many causes I like Edison vans is that they use generic and customary off-the shelf components in each place the place they will.

I do like the brand new Tesla semi-truck, however…even with their document of getting a low incidence of issues, there could be a downside sometime that must be mounted. In case you are working in a distant area and an issue comes up, the place are you going to get components? or discover somebody who can repair it? Tesla desires you to tow it to the closest Tesla-certified seller.

The obvious place the place this downside can instantly be seen is the Tesla windshield in comparison with the multi-faceted Edison model utilizing flat glass. Anybody at any time can get a crack within the windshield glass from a road-debris that’s thrown up by the automobile in entrance of you. Tesla tells their prospects that they should have that cup changed by Tesla, on the going Tesla-mechanic charge, and each time they will get round to doing it. Edison makes use of flat glass that may be minimize to form and put in by any truck restore depot that already exists throughout North America. The freeway patrol will NOT let you drive on the freeway with a damaged wind-shield.

The engine on the generator-set is a Caterpillar C9, which is barely 8.8L of displacement, and that is the principle motive for the distinctive gasoline economic system. The logging truck that Chase used to drive by way of the mountains of Canada makes use of a Caterpillar C15, which is 15.2L of displacement, and the Edison was designed to exchange that.

The series-hybrid drivetrain battery can present the ability peaks wanted for acceleration, after which in the course of the cruise-phase of driving, the engine/generator can prime off the battery. The fixed RPM’s on the engine has confirmed to offer a severe enchancment in gasoline economic system, in addition to considerably improved emissions. Improved gasoline economic system is a serious profit to any trucking enterprise.

The Lithium-Iron-Phosphate batteries (LiFePO4) are listed at 540V nominal, and I’ll proceed to search for extra particulars. The battery pack modules come inventory with an electrical heating pad below them for these occasions when the truck has to park within the chilly, away from a plug-in charger. And when the climate is sizzling, they’ve the choice for liquid-cooling. The armored modules are mounted far above the roadway between the truck frame-rails.


Conversions and New-Builts

Under is a pic of their “vocational” ground-up new truck on the left, and on the suitable is their first conversion prototype, which is affectionally been named “Carl”. It’s a run-of-the-mill 1962 Kenworth LW 924.


I feel Edison has a brilliant future, particularly for the following decade. I see no motive they wouldn’t do nicely within the USA, however in Canada, I would definitely select an Edison over Tesla for the roles the place they’re already proving to achieve success.

This technique was designed by a truck driver/proprietor, and so they particularly point out avoiding “deliberate obsolescence”, and giving the proprietor of an Edison truck the “proper to restore” themselves.

Right here’s a youtube video that I feel is the very best video they made to point out the whole lot you would possibly wish to learn about Edison Motors and their vans.


Choose Up Vans?

As if Edison wasn’t busy sufficient already, they transformed the truck beneath, and primarily based on the publics response, they’re working in the direction of growing a package that retailers can use to transform classic automobiles to a hybrid drive.

I don’t know but what the voltage is on these, however one of many huge advantages of a system like that is that where-ever you go, you all the time have a generator with a protracted run-time with you. Relying on the engine chosen, the ensuing automobile may even be dual-fuel succesful.

The diesel engine doesn’t must run always, and it doesn’t must run in any respect for brief journeys. Nonetheless, when it does must run, it drives the generator at a continuing RPM, and that’s the important thing to the Edison system getting distinctive gasoline economic system and low emissions.



Their dwelling web site could be discovered by clicking right here.

Their Fb web page could be discovered by clicking right here.

Their Youtube channel could be discovered by clicking right here.

The Flodraulic Batteries are right here

And right here is Danfoss Editron hybrid drive methods

Mailing handle…PO Field 444, Merritt BC, Canada, V1K 1B8


Written by Ron/spinningmagnets, December 2023

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