Popular Mechanics reviews Electroride’s zero emission commercial box truck:
The Zero Truck is a Class 4 or 5 (depending on configuration) commercial truck based on the Isuzu NPR—one of the best sellers in the industry. The Zero Truck is an “Integration Package.” In other words, participating dealers receive the Zero Truck conversion components in a few very large crates and up-fit the trucks on site. To become a Zero Truck, the Isuzu’s gas or diesel powerplant is removed along with all the related hardware. In place of the internal combustion powertrain is a large, 100 kw, UQM liquid-cooled, DC brushless electric motor that receives juice from a 50 kw, recyclable lithium polymer battery pack that rides between the truck’s frame rails.
Zero Trucks actually retain the stock GM automatic transmission, thanks to a proprietary, patent-pending coupler (they wouldn’t tell us how it worked), so the driving experience is most like a conventional truck. The Zero Truck drive system adds roughly 600 pounds to the existing 7000-pound curb weight of a gas-powered NPR. The trucks come with an onboard charger and the battery pack takes 8 hours on 220 volts—or 12 hours—on 110 volts, for a complete charge.
The Bottom Line
So how long will that battery pack last? Electrorides says a full 10 years, assuming one charge/discharge cycle every day.
And now … the cost: $126,000. That’s about $100,000 more than the price of a normal Isuzu truck. About $50,000 of the cost, however, comes from the lithium polymer packs.
Expensive? Sure, but here’s how the math apparently works out. With an E-truck, Electrorides says, business owners can control their fuel costs. They say a typical monthly payment on an Isuzu NPR is around $850 or $900. And the typical monthly gas or diesel fuel bill for a truck could range from $1200 to $1800, if you include oil changes and assume 100 miles driven per business day. The Zero Truck can be leased for seven years at $1900 a month, for example. And the cost to charge one of the EV haulers is about $3 off-peak here in Southern California—not bad at all.
Electroride claims the charge lasts 100 miles, though the article doesn’t specify if that’s at the 4,000 to 6,000 lb maximum hauling capacity.