PORTLAND, OR - Navistar, Inc. announced that one of the nation's most environmentally sustainable cities and a leading advocate for energy-efficient transportation.- Portland, Ore.- will be the initial launch market for Navistar's eStar truck-the first full-production, purpose-built all-electric truck.
"We're excited to debut the eStar in Portland and give local media and government officials an up-close look at one of the coolest, most environmentally friendly commercial trucks on the road today," said Jim Hebe, senior vice president, North American sales operations, Navistar. "As one of the most sustainable cities in the nation, a city like Portland can appreciate the amazing potential of the eStar all-electric truck when it comes to clean, energy-efficient transportation."
"Freight and service trucks present the biggest opportunity for real and significant reductions in carbon emissions and pollution, especially in the urban environment," said Portland Mayor Sam Adams. "Because of all Portland is doing to be a more sustainable and prosperous city and encourage the electric vehicle industry, I'm proud that Navistar chose Portland as its initial launch city for the eStar purpose-built, all-electric truck."
Navistar also announced its eStar dealer for the Pacific Northwest market-Cascadia International Trucks of Tacoma, Wash. With more than 50 years experience, Cascadia International has a reputation for outstanding customer service and will provide all sales, service and parts needs for eStar customers in the region.
"With the eStar truck making its debut in Portland today, Navistar is fully capable to support our customers through select dealers networked in our initial launch regions," Hebe added. "No other commercial electric vehicle competes with the eStar in terms of capacity, size and application. We believe customers will love the eStar because of its capabilities as an electric vehicle and won't have to change their fleet usage in order to take advantage of the truck's performance."
The eStar all-electric truck is the first medium-duty commercial vehicle to receive U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certification as a clean fuel fleet vehicle as well as California Air Resources Board (CARB) certification as a zero-emissions vehicle.
This Class 2c-3 electric truck-the first in its category-has a range of 100 miles per charge, making it ideal for many urban applications. When it returns to its home base at the end of the day, it can be plugged in and fully recharged within six to eight hours.
"The all-electric eStar commercial truck is a groundbreaking product and Navistar is once again leading the way in bringing innovative, game-changing products to market," Hebe added. "Along with the advancements we've made in aerodynamics and fuel efficiency for heavy trucks, our comprehensive line-up of hybrid trucks and school buses, and now with the addition of the eStar all-electric truck, Navistar has the largest portfolio of energy-efficient, environmentally friendly trucks in the industry."
The eStar all-electric truck transitioned from concept to reality in August 2009, when President Barack Obama visited Navistar's manufacturing plant in Indiana to announce a $39.2 million federal stimulus grant to build electric trucks. Less than one year later, Navistar has completed testing and validation, developed and delivered prototype vehicles, and received EPA and CARB certifications. The eStar meets all Federal Motor Vehicles Safety Standards (FMVSS) and Navistar is now taking orders and building these all-electric trucks.
Unlike other electric trucks that are reconfigured models of fossil-fuel trucks, the eStar truck has been purpose-built for electric power, creating an advantage with a low center of gravity (the battery is between the frame rails, not mounted on top) and a 36-foot turning radius. The eStar is engineered with superior aerodynamics, a walk-through cab and a quick-change cassette-type battery that can be swapped out in 20 minutes, enabling around the clock operation. It is capable of carrying payloads up to two tons.
With zero tailpipe emissions, each eStar truck can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 10 tons annually. Drivers will be able to experience the ultimate in ergonomic design as the windshield provides nearly 180-degree visibility, the low-floor design provides easy loading/unloading and the noise level is near zero, which makes this nimble vehicle ideal for urban areas facing noise challenges.
Sales of the eStar all-electric vehicle are conducted through a wholly owned Navistar affiliate. The eStar truck is produced through the Navistar-Modec EV Alliance, LLC, the joint venture between Navistar, Inc. and Modec Limited of the United Kingdom.
For decades, Navistar has demonstrated a commitment to technologies that benefit the environment and its customers. In 1989, Navistar was the first original equipment manufacturer to release the smokeless diesel engine and, in 2001, Navistar was the first engine manufacturer to gain certification from the EPA for meeting particulate and hydrocarbon emissions standards - six years ahead of schedule. The company was also the first to enter line production of hybrid commercial trucks and hybrid school buses.
The Lion Electric Co. showed off its first all-electric Class 8 urban truck at the American Trucking Associations' Technology & Maintenance Council annual meeting in Atlanta March 19, saying it will be commercialized this fall.