Australian automotive tech company, SEA Electric, this week announced it will launch its brand in the United States – with two display trucks.
The vehicles are based on popular Ford and Isuzu platforms as part of a showcase at the Work Truck Show in Indianapolis next month.
In April the trucks, which are at an advanced build stage, will also appear at the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo.
The Ford F-59 ‘Stripped Chassis’ is being built at Ford’s DCP assembly facility in Detroit while the Isuzu NRR is being assembled nearby at a third-party plant.
As part of its expansion the company has established a site in Los Angeles where it has recently appointed its first US-based employees to oversee the newest products and future projects through US certification and distribution.
Establishing a foothold in the United States is a logical first step forward for the company according to SEA Electric Group Managing Director, Tony Fairweather.
“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,” he said.
“The country’s high urbanisation and sprawling cities also provide conditions where EV can deliver operators a lot of efficiency gains, not to mention the obvious environmental benefits,” said Fairweather.
The Ford F-59 Stripped Chassis is powered by the SEA-Drive 120b power-system which produces 150kW of continuous power and 250kW of maximum power.
In addition to this the vehicle delivers continuous torque of 1230Nm and a maximum torque figure of 2500Nm SEA Electric said in a statement.
The Pantech-bodied Isuzu NRR also features the SEA-Drive 120b power-system.
With operating ranges of up to 350 kilometres, both vehicles according to SEA Electric remove ‘range angst’ for operators.
Shortly following the Work Truck Show, both vehicles will enter in-service trials with major US fleets.
SEA Electric also has a Ford Transit van program underway which will enter a trial stage in April.
This van features the SEA Drive 70 power-system which provides continuous power of 75kW, maximum power of 134kW and 700Nm of maximum torque for an operating range of up to 350km also (220 miles).
Batteries for all three vehicles can be fully charged overnight in 4-6 hours using a 20kW on-board charger.
This allows them to be plugged-in and charged from any three-phase power source.
Fairweather said that the SEA-Drive powered vehicles were ideal 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 confirmed the US venture builds on its Australian operations, which has seen it become the EV technology supplier of choice for the domestic market.
SEA Electric is also well advanced in expanding its local assembly presence in the Latrobe Valley, in southeast Victoria, where it plans on providing capacity to produce up to 2,400 CBU (completely built up) van, light commuter bus and truck units per annum.