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Balqon Introduces On-Highway Heavy-Duty Electric Mule Truck

Mule150
The Balqon Mule 150. Click to enlarge.

Balqon Corporation, an emerging developer and manufacturer of zero emissions heavy-duty electric vehicles for Class 7 and Class 8 applications (earlier post), introduced a lithium-ion battery powered heavy-duty electric truck designed for use in on-highway short-haul applications at the Governors’ Global Climate Summit in Los Angeles, California.

Balqon’s Mule M150 is designed for short-haul on-highway routes in inner cities, port facilities and airports for the distribution of goods and cargo. The Mule M150 is equipped with Balqon’s fully integrated heavy-duty electric drive system and lithium-ion batteries to provide increased range and performance.

Balqon Corporation began offering lithium-ion batteries as an extended range alternative to lead-acid traction batteries for its entire product line of of-highway Class 8 yard tractors and drayage vehicles in July. (Earlier post.)

The Mule M150 can carry a max load of 7 tons and is able to travel at a speed of up to 55 mph (89 km/h). Unloaded range is 150 miles (241 km) on a single charge; fully loaded range is 90 miles (145 km). Unloaded grade is 10%, loaded is 5%.

The Mule 150 is powered by a 280 kWh, 324V Li-ion battery pack. The battery charger is a 100 kW multi-vehicle fast charger—4 charging ports are standard. The system uses a priority smart charge algorithm based on vehicle state of charge. There is 60 kW max output at each charge port. The battery pack requires a 6 hour charge time from 80% depth of discharge at 480 VAC, 3 phase input voltage.

The traction motor is a 300 hp (224 kW) 230V AC vector duty electric motor connected to a liquid cooled 240 kW flux vector variable frequency controller. Solid state switching controls are rated at 600 amps; there are independent switching controls for accessory drives with auto shut-off during idling operation. The Mule 150 uses a 6 speed fully automatic Allison 3000 RDS transmission. A heavy duty torque converter reduces shock and strain on drive line components and the electric motor.

The vehicle is equipped with a cab over two passenger steel cabin design. The Mule 150 is expected to release to market in Q3 2009.

While electric delivery trucks with a 7 ton capacity are new to inner city delivery applications, we believe they show significant potential in improving performance and environmental pollution. The Mule M150 is a zero emissions heavy-duty truck that we believe is an ideal solution for inner city applications where trucks idle in congested city traffic. We also believe that the use of our Mule M150 in these applications will result in reduced noise and air pollution.

Considering that California has led the effort in environmental policy for decades, we felt that it would make sense for us to release our heavy-duty electric delivery truck at the Governors’ Global Climate Summit, chaired by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The release of our Mule M150 completes our product line of heavy-duty electric vehicles that also includes our Nautilus yard tractors and drayage vehicles. Now that we have completed our heavy-duty truck product line, we plan to increase our focus on worldwide sales and distribution for our products.

—Balwinder Samra, Balqon Corporation’s President and CEO

Comments

Arne

I would like it if GreenCarCongress ditched the horsepowers. For goodness sake, it's almost a century since horses were last used in road transport in any significant way.

The charger is 100 kW, not 134 hp. The battery is 280 kWh, not 375 hph. Just state the power in kW. That's what all electric components are measured in.

ToppaTom

For goodness sake I wish there were fewer people that felt that consideration for others was beneath their concern.

kelly

This article begins "Balqon Corporation, an emerging developer.." and America battles for new vehicle manufacturing in the US.

As EVworld noted, "When Toyota considered building a new manufacturing plant in North America, it chose to locate it in Canada; and the reason most often cited was Canada's national healthcare system."

http://evworld.com/currents.cfm?jid=27

HarveyD

Anne has a very good point. It's about time for USA to joint the rest of the world with the metric system and start using Km, Litre, Kg, KW, tonnes, Celcius etc. Both neighbours (and England) have done it, why not USA?

Electricity and electric vehicles run on KW, KWh, Volts, Amps etc, not on gasoline, diesel, gallons, hp, etc.

There is no glory in staying behind all others. The economy is taking good care of that.

HarveyD

By the way, if a large truck can run on electricity, it may be time to electrify city buses, garbage trucks, city delivery vehicles, city taxis etc. The results would be cleaner more quiet cities without hp.

wintermane2000

Gah! I know I did the math a year or so ago but still seeing is a shock. 280 kwh pack to go 90 miles. Yipes!

dursun

I agree with Tom. Metric measurements are just a sneaky way of indoctrinating American to Socialism. I'll give up my SAE wrench when they pry my cold dead fingers form it.

ai_vin

The U.S. military uses metric measurements extensively to ensure interoperability with allied forces, particularly NATO STANAGs, "standardization agreements". Ground forces measure distances in "klicks", slang for kilometers. Most military firearms are measured in metric units, beginning with the M-14 which was introduced in 1957.

HarveyD

dursun:

You are incredibly unbelievable!

Wintermane:

Give EV's e-storage units a chance. They will be 4 times smaller in 2020-2030.

You could compare ICE relative size and weight per hp in 1909 vs latest 2009 models and note a huge difference. Almost nobody complained because it took 100+ years and a lot more to come. What was the relative price per hp in 2009 dollars?

Why do we want perfection from first generation PHEVs and BEVs? It took 12+ decades to get get slightly higher efficiency ICE.The progress has been very slow and even negative for decades. Why will it not take at least 2 to 3 decades to get much smaller higher performance e-storage units?

Mark_BC

For goodness sake can't the US come up to at least the 20th century? I mean, half my time at work is spent converting between metric and imperial, what a waste of time. And then the NASA engineers screw it up and crash probes into Mars. It's time to accept socialism and convert.

art

People in the medical field in the USA also use the metric system. Metric is so simple to use.

Using the imperial system is just plain stupid.

mahonj

As the saying goes, the US is going metric, inch by inch.

ToppaTom

I agree the US should go metric - and we "did" a time or two.

I also agree that the constant struggle to convert from Imperial (and others) to metric or SI is wasteful and irritating.

Including the hp equivalent for mechanical output is just the opposite; convenient for a multitude of readers and little burden for one writer.

The demand for "SI only" in writing is like the demand for English language only – often a selfish lack of consideration or thinly veiled prejudice.

danm

At least we've gotten as far as the 2-liter bottle.

Carlos Fandango

You have to love the association of metric with socialism.

Only in America.

DavidJ

The battery pack is not 280kWh but 1008MJ!
The UK Mars bar is not 259Calories but 1.08MJ.
Anne is is not advocating the use of SI but swapping from one traditional ad-hoc system to another.

HarveyD

David:

That's a very weak defense.

Account Deleted

There is a way to have a small size battery package (with low cost) in the powertrains of the electric or hybrid vehicles. To see that, you can access the site http://www.hibridesign.com/prod03.htm. This represents also a real world solution to achieve now a zero pollution transport system. The concept uses mainly the charging of the batteries during the time of motion from a simple infrastructure. Another part of the energy is directed to supply the propulsion system.

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