ITD Industries displays electric refrigerated trailer

ITD Industries displayed at Truck World an electric refrigerated trailer that can keep a load chilled for up to three days, even when not plugged into a fixed power source.

The trailer generates its electricity using an electric axle and solar panels, which cover the entire length of the roof. Shorepower is also available as the third power source. The electricity can be fed into any off-the-shelf electric trailer refrigeration unit.

ITD electric trailer at Truck World
Philip Turi (left) and Benny di Franco are pictured with the engineers who designed the trailer, Sreehari Nair and Peter Kim. (Photo: Supplied)

Loblaw is taking delivery of the first trailer for field testing, and another unnamed fleet will also be running trials, Philip Turi, chief operating officer of ITD Industries told at Truck World, where the trailer was shown for the first time.

While the components can be retrofit on any make of reefer trailer, the trailer on display was custom-built by ITD itself. Building the trailer allowed ITD to neatly package the wiring, presenting a cleaner finish.

“The main reason we did this was, our customers were asking us to help electrify their reefer units,” explained Sreehari Nair – electrical engineer. He designed the trailer along with Peter Kim, project engineer, vehicle electrification program. “The heart of our system is the battery packs. We have a 141-kWh battery pack charged, essentially, from three sources.”

15 solar panels

There are 15 solar panels on the roof of the trailer and the electric axle generates power while the trailer is being pulled. DC fast charging allows the trailer to be powered up to 80% in just 15 to 20 minutes, Nair said. AC charging is also an option in which case it would take about four hours to charge the trailer to 80%.

A diesel engine is also mounted on the trailer refrigeration unit to add redundancy should the power sources be unavailable for an extended period.

“Ideally, you wouldn’t have to use the diesel engine. It would always be powered by the battery packs,” said Nair.

ITD envisions selling the kit as a retrofit on existing reefer trailers. It is also planning to test a 60-foot design with the second fleet set to pilot the system.

Four-year payback

Turi said the system will cost between $100,000 and $200,000 but in the right application will displace diesel fuel entirely, providing a payback in about four years. (Reefer trailers typically are run for about 10 years).

The 48-kilowatt electric motor was the only component that was sourced from an external supplier. It generates power while rolling down the highway, not under braking like electric trucks that employ regenerative braking. Turi said this prevents additional drag that would worsen fuel economy.

Philip and Benni
Philip Turi (left) and Benny di Franco. (Photo: James Menzies)
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James Menzies is editorial director of Today's Trucking and He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 24 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

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