|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