AFVI 2008: Meeting the ZeroTruck face-to-face

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We first heard about the ZeroTruck, a Class 4 delivery truck powered by nothing but good old electrons, towards the end of April. Electrorides, Inc. brought the prototype ZeroTruck to the AFVI Expo in Las Vegas this week, trying to get fleet operators to sign up for an upcoming national tour the truck will make later this summer to show off its capabilities.

Tedd Abramson, the president and CEO of Electrorides, Inc., spoke to AutoblogGreen about the ZeroTruck and said that the truck will save fleets money not only at the pump but also in the back room, where maintenance billing is done. Down time at the fueling station is also reduced, so there are cost savings on top of the lower price for the energy needed to move the truck.

The ZeroTruck is a 2008 Isuzu N Series chassis converted to run on batteries. The vehicles uses a lithium polymer battery pack that offers a 100-mile range. The 14-foot truck offers very flexible options for the bed and, since Isuzu chassis makes up around 78 percent of the market, fleet operators are very familiar with what these options are, how the vehicle operates, and how it holds up in the field.

All of this does not come cheap. Abramson said that the ZeroTruck will have a cost premium of just over $100,000 a compared to the standard diesel version. All those cost savings, Abramson said, mean that the premium should be recouped in five years. Abramson said he expects the vehicle to offer about ten years of operation. If everything checks out, then that cost premium won't be a problem at all. We'll have to wait and see how many fleet operators pull the trigger on this truck to see if they believe the company's claims are accurate. Note: Electrorides gave AutoblogGreen permission to post the slides used during the company's presentation at the Expo. You can find them in the gallery below.

Listen to Abramson (10 min):

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