Melbourne-based SEA Electric will supply its proprietary SEA-Drive power system to US firm Mack Trucks, part of the Volvo Group.

    The five-year agreement will see SEA-Drive 120 and 180 power systems installed in Mack’s medium-duty Class 6 and Class 7 MD6 and MD7 models, for sale across North America later in 2023.

    SEA-Drive says its 120a and 120b systems have between 125kW and 250kW of maximum power (80-200kW continuous) and between 1500Nm and 3500Nm of maximum torque (800Nm-1852Nm continuous).

    In the MD Electric, maximum power is 194kW and torque is 2508Nm.

    The power system includes not only the electric motors, but also the onboard charger.

    The 4×2 MD Electric trucks will use 150kWh or 240kWh nickel manganese cobalt oxide batteries and can be charged through AC or DC charging units. They also feature regenerative braking.

    The AC charging rate is 19.2kW and the DC charging rate 80kW. Hooked up to a DC charger, it’ll take 100 minutes to charge with two batteries and 160 minutes to charge with three.

    Maximum range is a claimed 225km with two batteries, or 370km with three.

    The Class 6 model has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 11.79 tonnes, and the Class 7 model has a GVWR of 14.97 tonnes. Maximum payload is 8.8 tonnes.

    Mack notes the MD6 doesn’t require a commercial driver’s licence in the US to operate for non-hazardous payloads.

    They’ll be produced in Roanoke Valley, Virginia.

    The MD Electric trucks won’t be the first electric Macks, with the LR Electric having entered production back in December 2021.

    “We are pleased to partner with SEA Electric on this exciting product, which represents another important step in our efforts to drive decarbonization and a more sustainable future,” said Mack Trucks global president Martin Weissburg.

    “This is a proud day for SEA Electric, and the culmination of over a decade of leading research and development that has proven the SEA-Drive power-system around the world,” said SEA Electric CEO and founder Tony Fairweather.

    “In testing, the SEA-Drive equipped Mack MD6 successfully completed a gruelling durability assessment, equivalent to more than 500,000 miles on one of the toughest and most challenging tracks.”

    “We are proud to partner with a brand as iconic as Mack Trucks to help them achieve market leadership in the Class 6 and 7 zero emissions segment.

    “In the future, this agreement has the potential to see significant scale, which is very exciting for the industry as it transitions to a sustainable future.”

    SEA Electric was founded in 2012, and now operates in five different continents. It has been performing driveline swaps on diesel trucks since 2017.

    Its SEA-Drive system can be employed by trucks, buses and light commercials alike.

    For example, the SEA 300-85 light truck it produces in Australia is based on the Hino 300 light-duty, constructed from a Semi Knocked Down (SKD) kit sent over, and finished with new badging and branding, complete with its own compliance plate and factory warranty.

    It’s rated to 8.5 tonnes, uses a 138kWh capacity battery, and has a drive motor putting out 1500Nm of torque. Unladen, the combination has a potential range of 300km.

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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