Editors gathered at the PACCAR Innovation Center in Sunnyvale, Calif., in mid-January, where the fleet manufacture hosted a Kenworth Zero Emissions Test Drive event. Among the innovations highlighted at the event were the T680FCEV, the T680E, the K270E and the K370E, as well as charging and infrastructure details.

A Class 8 vehicle, the T680E delivers a 150 mile range for pickup and delivery as well as last mile applications. With a top speed of 65 mph, the Kenworth T680E features a 396 kWh battery pack and supports a 6-by-4 tractor or straight truck models. 

The Kenworth T680E battery electric vehicle recently made its debut at CES 2022 in Las Vegas. In a release leading up to CES, Kevin Baney, Kenworth general manager and PACCAR vice president, stated: “Kenworth is leading the way in zero emissions solutions. The Kenworth T680E builds upon Kenworth’s excellent heritage of providing fleets and truck operators with outstanding and productive trucks driven by quality, innovation and technology. The new Kenworth T680E provides our customers with a true, zero emissions solution that will help to achieve their own green program objectives.”

Meanwhile, the company also showcased its medium-duty range of battery-electric vehicles with the K270E Class 6 and K370E Class 7 trucks. Supporting local distribution, pickup and delivery as well as last mile applications, the high-density battery pack offers a 100-200 mile range with zero emission and a one hour DC recharge. Each model delivers a top speed of 65 mph.

Recognizing the need for infrastructure of battery charging to support these models, PACCAR features a selection of chargers through its PACCAR Parts along with partnerships with EnTech Solutions and Schneider Electric. While the chargers are designed to be compatible with Kenworth electric trucks, they also work with other commercial electric vehicles, the company says. Additionally, fleet customers can purchase the chargers from Kenworth dealers and TRP store locations worldwide, choosing from multiple DC fast chargers rated up to 920V DC, it states on its website.

The event also featured Kenworth’s T680FCEV powered by hydrogen fuel cell EV. With a 300 mile range, the T680FCEV supports long-range applications and features a top speed of 70 mph. With a 15 minute refuel time, the vehicle is equipped with a 12 kWh battery pack and 60kg hydrogen tank.

Following the presentation, editors were invited to participate in the ride and drive event. For the CDL vehicles, editors without a CDL license were able to ride along with a Kenworth CDL-licensed driver to experience the vehicle’s capabilities.

Editors also were escorted on a tour of the 26,000-square-foot innovation center. 

Opening in 2017, the PACCAR Innovation Center supports all PACCAR divisions. Equipped with five truck bays, the center was designed with collaborative work spaces for the approximately 14 employees operating out of the office.

PACCAR representatives also highlighted that although the regulation landscape at regional, state and federal levels are playing a strong role in the adoption of electric vehicles, the company is hearing from customers that interest in reducing emissions as well as total cost of ownership benefits have played a part in the proliferation of electric vehicle solutions.

For example, the fuel savings in relation to more stable rates of electric rates; a maintenance operation that features fewer moving parts; and incentives in the way of grants available for the vehicles and infrastructure.

As part of the Kenworth EV grant initiative, the company tracks more than 75 federal, state, county and municipal grants and incentive programs in the United States and Canada ― each with varying requirements, eligibility, funding awards and timelines, it says. The effort provides support to private and public fleets across a wide range of industries, it adds.

In a December 2021 release, Jim Walenczak, Kenworth assistant general manager for sales and marketing, stated: “The Kenworth Electrification team fills the ‘voice for the customer’ role during these workshops and open commentary periods, and paves the way for fleets and truck operators to obtain access to available funds. Kenworth already has helped its customers secure $10 million in vehicle and EV supply equipment funding with an additional $1.5 million pending final decisions by various agencies.”

Through all of these avenues, Kenworth continues to steer its operations in support of its Driving to Zero Emissions initiative.