Nissan Ariya electric SUVs are making part of their journey to dealerships on electric semi trucks.
The automaker said in a press release said it will use up to four battery-electric Class 8 semis to haul vehicles from the Port of Los Angeles to dealerships. Tractors are being provided by Nikola and Kenworth. They haul traditional car carriers and are charged using newly installed hardware at the port, the release said.
The first truckload of vehicles, including Ariyas and some gasoline vehicles, was delivered to Los Angeles-area dealership Downey Nissan in Downey, California.
Nissan considers this a proof-of-concept test, with the main goal being to learn more about all-electric trucks in this application. The automaker is open to adding more electric trucks in the Los Angeles area, and said lessons learned from the project could lead to use of battery-electric trucks “for a variety of logistics uses.”
Nissan didn’t provide any detail on the trucks themselves, but each manufacturer mentioned only has one battery-electric Class 8 semi in production currently—the Kenworth T680E and the Nikola Tre BEV. Nikola ultimately hopes to launch a hydrogen fuel-cell version of its truck, along with a planned 60 hydrogen stations by 2026.
According to Kenworth, the T680E has a full gross-vehicle rating of up to 82,000 pounds and makes 536 hp continuous power, up to 670 hp peak power, and 1,623 lb.-ft. of torque, and it has a top speed of 70 mph. Operating range for this spec (loaded, of course) is 150 miles from a 396-kwh battery pack, and 120-kw CCS fast-charging enables a full charge in 3.3 hours.
Kenworth also has had a partnership with Toyota for fuel-cell-powered electric trucks operating at the L.A. port, and has produced medium-duty electric trucks like the K270E and K370E for Class 6 and Class 7 applications, respectively.
Tesla also used prototype Semis for some vehicle deliveries long before the Semi was officially in production. The Tesla truck was first shown in 2017, at which time Tesla said production would start in 2019, but the company didn’t build the first customer examples until 2022.
As for the Ariya itself, it’s finally reaching U.S. dealerships after a slower-than-anticipated ramp-up. It’s an important vehicle for Nissan, representing a complete rethink from the Leaf and debuting a new platform dubbed CMF-EV that will be shared with Infiniti and Renault. The Leaf will continue alongside the Ariya, however.
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