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Title: Commercial Electric Vehicle (EV) Development and Manufacturing Program

Navistar with the Department of Energy’s assistance undertook this effort to achieve the project objectives as listed in the next section. A wholly owned subsidiary of Navistar, Workhorse Sales Corporation was the original grant awardee and upon their discontinuation as a standalone business entity, Navistar assumed the role of principal investigator. The intent of the effort, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was to produce zero emission vehicles that could meet the needs of the marketplace while reducing carbon emissions to zero. This effort was predicated upon the assumption that concurrent development activities in the lithium ion battery industry investigations would significantly increase their production volumes thus leading to substantial reductions in their manufacturing costs. As a result of this development effort much was learned about the overall system compatibility between the electric motor, battery pack, and charging capabilities. The original system was significantly revised and improved during the execution of this development effort. The overall approach that was chosen was to utilize a British zero emissions, class 2 truck that had been developed for their market, homologate it and modify it to meet the product requirements as specified in the grant details. All of thesemore » specific goals were achieved. During the course of marketing and selling the product valuable information was obtained as relates to customer expectations, price points, and product performance expectations, specifically those customer expectations about range requirements in urban delivery situations. While the grant requirements specified a range of 100 miles on a single charge, actual customer usage logs indicate a range of 40 miles or less is typical for their applications. The price point, primarily due to battery pack costs, was significantly higher than the mass market could bear. From Navistar’s and the overall industry’s perspective, valuable insights and lessons into this all-electric vehicle propulsion were gained during the performance of this effort and can be revisited when battery chemistry and technology advance to the point of more suitable economic viability. Additionally, another goal of the ARRA act and this specific grant was to manufacture the product in the, at that time, economically depressed Northwest Indiana area. Navistar chose a location in Wakarusa, Indiana which fulfilled this requirement. Navistar was and continues to be committed to alternative fuel and propulsion options as an industry leader in the medium and heavy duty truck industry.« less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Workhorse Sales Corporation
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States