Kenworth is participating in an advanced research demonstration project that will add wireless fast charging to Class 8 battery electric vehicles. Wireless charging at a 1-megawatt rate will enable battery electric vehicles in regional haul routes to fully charge the batteries in 30 minutes or less, Kenworth says. This program is funded through an $8 million cost-share project funded by the Vehicle Technologies Office of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The project includes Kenworth, WAVE (Wireless Advanced Vehicle Electrification) and Utah State University.
Kenworth will provide a T680 Next Generation battery electric vehicle with a traction motor rated at 420 kW and 560 HP, battery capacity of 660 kWh, and target range of at least 170 miles before requiring a recharge. The T680 Next Gen will operate in a two-shift operation to and from Seattle and Portland (Oregon) with regional deliveries en route combined with local in-city deliveries to exceed 400 miles daily.
WAVE’s high-power wireless chargers have been used in mass transit applications since 2017. The company is working with power electronics researchers at Utah State University to design a 1-megawatt, wireless inductive charging solution for a designated facility in both Seattle and Portland. Seattle City Light and Portland General Electric will be involved in the respective site installation in their cities. The project expects to complete the installations in 2022.