Meritor has announced it will commercially launch its electric powertrain later this year.
Based on the 14X, the electric powertrain will initially be sold to Lion Electric, Autocar and European electric truck startup Volta Trucks. The 14Xe is part of Meritor’s Blue Horizon electrification platform.
“The 14Xe ePowertrain has been tested in various conditions around the world with several OEMs, vehicle types and applications, so we can offer the industry a proven electric powertrain technology,” said T.J. Reed, vice-president of global electrification for Meritor. “In January 2020, we announced our agreement with Paccar to be its non-exclusive supplier of electric powertrains. One year later, we are nearing production and preparing to put vehicles on the road.”
The electric powertrain is contained within the conventional 14X suspension package. Benefits include: a tighter turning radius, due to a shorter wheelbase; increased room between the frame rails for additional battery capacity; and a weight reduction of about 800 lbs.
“We’ve gone from an advanced demonstration program to creating a complete business unit,” Reed said of the work done over the past couple years. A key enabler to developing the electric powertrain was Meritor’s 2020 acquisition of California-based TransPower.
“We needed to grow our capabilities in software and controls,” Reed said, noting the TransPower acquisition allowed this.
Meritor has supplied Daimler with eight 14Xe electric powertrains for its eM2 medium-duty truck, and has some 38 Kalmar electric terminal tractors going into service later this year. It also supplies Paccar, and is installed in the Peterbilt Model 520 refuse truck.
“Every major OEM around the globe has been testing our products,” Reed said in a press briefing. “Some in public settings, some on their test benches or proving grounds.”
The production launch of the 14Xe, expected in the middle of this year, shifts Meritor from proof of concept stage into production. The 14Xe will be followed by the 17Xe for 4×2 applications in Europe in 2025, and the 12Xe for smaller commercial vehicles such as step-in vans in 2023. Meritor projects having the ability to serve 60-70% of the market with its electric portfolio.