SEA Electric, doer of EV driveline swaps on diesel trucks since 2017 using its patented SEA-Drive Power System, has streamlined the process with local assembly.
The company just put out a release celebrating the first such EV truck to roll off the line at its Melbourne facility, destined for WA-based mining company Mineral Resources. It’s now selling a range through 12 national dealers.
The light truck is called the SEA 300-85. It’s rated to 8.5 tonnes, uses a 138kWh capacity battery, and has a drive motor putting out a whopping 1500Nm torque rating. Unladen, the combination has a potential range of 300km.
SEA Electric’s battery truck 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.
The move to construct from new on a production line sees the process “become much more efficient, with the trucks prepared quicker, cheaper and with less waste,” says the company.
While the volume produced ‘SKD’ truck is a newcomer to the roads of Australia, SEA-Electric says “the technology backing the package is proven with millions of kilometres of real-world use, thanks to a previous retrofitting program”.
SEA Electric adds it is currently replicating the production techniques developed locally in Australia for its other markets worldwide.
The SEA 300-85 is one example of the first full range of pure-electric trucks, with options from a 4.5-tonne truck that’s drive-able on a car licence, through to 22.5-tonne three-axle rigids.
“It is incredibly exciting to see the very first truck to roll off our production line; it is the culmination of years of effort by the entire SEA Electric team dating back to 2012,” said SEA Electric President of Asia Pacific Bill Gillespie.
“Australian manufacturing and ingenuity is alive and well, especially so in the development of products in the EV space, with SEA Electric’s innovations game-changing for the transport industry.
“Our company’s stated mission is to eliminate more than a billion kilograms of CO2 emissions over the next five years, and that will be made possible with the efforts of early adopters of the technology such as MRL.
“As a company, they have committed to a path of sustainability, and we are proud to play a part in that.
“The response from the transport industry since the launch of our local volume production has been very heartening, and we are looking forward to passing many more milestones in the coming months.”
MRL’s Chief Executive of Mining Services Mike Grey said his company was committed to reducing its carbon footprint.
“We’ve developed a transition plan to a low-carbon future and that includes reducing our reliance on diesel,” Grey said.
“Our SEA Electric truck is just one of the ways we’re driving towards net zero.”
“A fully fledged OEM” *(its words) since early 2021, SEA Electric is one example of an Australian company re-engineering vehicles or making core componentry in Australia.
Others include DC charge point leader Tritium; lightweight wheel-maker Carbon Revolution; off-road accessory giant ARB; Walkinshaw the right-hand drive converter for GMSV and Ram Trucks Australia; and Nissan Australia which makes Leaf EV parts in Dandenong.
SEA Electric has a global presence, with product in seven countries including the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Indonesia and South Africa.
North America has its largest “upfitting capacity” at more than 30,000 units per annum. But Australia’s factory facility for volume commercial production of electric trucks and vans is the model to be used moving forward.