XL Fleet, eNow partner to electrify refrigerated trailers

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Updated Jul 22, 2021
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XL Fleet Corp. announced a battery and power electronics development and supply agreement as well as an investment in eNow Inc. Under the terms of the agreement, XL Fleet will supply battery and power electronics systems for the first 1,000 units of eNow’s new electrified refrigerated trailer solutions.

eNow’s patented solar systems efficiently capture the sun’s energy with roof mounted solar modules, and then store the energy in auxiliary batteries used to power lift gates, in-cab HVAC, refrigeration, telematics and other loads such as appliances and lighting, the company says.

XL Fleet’s partnership with eNow accelerates and expands the company’s existing market opportunity into Class 8 trailers. Approximately 50,000 new diesel-powered refrigerated trailers are sold annually in the U.S., reflecting a multi-billion-dollar potential total addressable market for all-electric solutions. Each conventional diesel power refrigerated trailer can use as much diesel as a delivery truck uses in a day, so there are large opportunities for diesel and emissions savings with electrified refrigerated trailers. Additionally, the partnership enhances XL Fleet’s strategic position to collaborate with important Class 8 transportation customers, providing potential cross-selling opportunities for XL Fleet’s integrated solutions offering, including electrified powertrains and XL Grid charging infrastructure, according to the announcement.

XL Fleet and eNow are collaborating on the design and development of the system that will power eTRUs, as a replacement for conventional diesel-powered systems. XL Fleet is developing the high-capacity integrated lithium-ion battery and power electronics technology that will be installed underfloor on the Class 8 trailer, providing approximately 12 hours or more of run time between charges.

eNow will integrate this system into its architecture, including solar panels mounted on the roof of the trailer to maintain the battery charge and extend operation. Currently available 480V 3 phase shore power will be used for charging of the batteries and powering of the eTRU when idle or during loading and unloading of the trailer. The system will be equipped with a thermal management system to enable year-round operation across North America. XL Grid will support customers that require new charging or expanded charging infrastructure, or energy solutions. This partnership also builds on XL Fleet’s promise of delivering Electrification-as-a-Service, by giving customers the opportunity to finance or lease the refrigerated trailers and related infrastructure.

eTRUs deliver a lower total cost of ownership and are more environmentally friendly than diesel powered units currently serving the majority of the market today. eTRUs can be hauled by traditional internal combustion engine or electrified tractors, as a way for fleet managers to immediately and significantly reduce emissions. XL Fleet and eNow expect to deliver initial eTRUs beginning in the first half of 2022 to customers in industries including food, retail, manufacturing and distribution, the company sayss.

Concurrent with the agreement, XL Fleet invested $3 million in convertible notes in eNow. Additionally, XL Fleet has the right to acquire eNow at a pre-determined valuation. 

“Our partnership and associated investment is consistent with our fleet electrification strategy, and provides us with efficient access to a large market with significant growth potential, while opening new doors for additional opportunities to provide our integrated fleet electrification and XL Grid solutions to Class 8 fleets,” says Tod Hynes, founder and president, XL Fleet.

XL Fleet CEO Dimitri Kazarinoff says, “We have been collaborating with eNow on critical engineering elements of this exciting next generation electrified refrigerated trailer offering for some time now, and continue to be impressed by the team’s technology, ingenuity and shared passion for sustainability.”

“XL Fleet’s mission to help corporations and their fleets lower operating costs while supporting sustainability goals aligns closely with ours,” says Jeff Flath, eNow president and CEO. “This partnership will change the way the transportation industry thinks about energy and refrigerated transportation, as together we will offer the most advanced renewable power systems for reefer trailers, coupled with charging infrastructure, to eliminate a major source of diesel fuel consumption and emissions for fleets.”        

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