ConMet’s eHub to power Carrier Transicold’s Vector reefer

ConMet’s eMobility unit has partnered with Carrier Transicold to provide electric power to its trailer refrigeration units (TRUs) through its electric hub.

ConMet’s PreSet hub assembly contains an electric motor to capture kinetic energy and convert it to electricity. The electricity is stored in a 30-kW battery pack mounted underneath the trailer, and can be used to supply Carrier Transicold’s Vector TRU with the power needed for refrigeration.

The electric hub can also be used to supplement the tractor-trailer’s propulsion when needed, for instance when climbing a grade. The system is being tested in California by Sysco, running out of its Riverside, Calif., operations.

Illustration of a fleet delivery route

“We are proud to see our technology already making a positive change,” Marc Trahand, vice president and general manager of ConMet eMobility said during the Technology & Maintenance Council’s spring meeting. “Results from our first commercial evaluation program prove how powerful the eHub system is, generating enough electricity to power the TRU over an entire food service delivery route. We’re looking forward to even more positive advancements as we move into our next production run of the eHub, which is scaled for volume, ease of use, and manufacturing efficiency.”

During a press conference, Trahand said the system weighs about 1,400 lb. including the batteries, but when stripping the refrigeration unit of its fuel tanks and diesel, it’s weight-neutral. The ConMet electric hubs themselves each contain an 80-kW electric motor and two such hubs are sufficient to power the Vector TRU.

“They’re lightweight and easy to install,” said Trahand, noting they can provide a whole day of operation in electric mode. The company shared data pulled from a recent 11-hour shift run by a fleet. The battery’s charge began the shift at about 50% and quickly climbed to nearly 100% as the truck was driven and producing kinetic energy.

“It’s like having a fast charger,” Trahand said of the charging process. “When rolling it’s generating a lot of energy back into the system.”

Through the 11-hour, 73-mile run, the reefer didn’t require shore power or diesel.

Also at TMC, ConMet announced it is offering its preconfigured eHub system as an option on Great Dane trailers. Retrofits will eventually be available, Trahand added.

James Menzies is editor of Today's Trucking. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 20 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at james@newcom.ca or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.


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