Electric powertrains star in Beijing

Majority of trucks, buses on show at Auto China electric

Electric trucks and buses in Australia are very few and far between, however what we witnessed at the Beijing Auto Show this week makes us think this will start to change.

All the major players are either investing in studies into electric propulsion tech, testing it, or even producing electric vehicles and/or electric vehicle drivelines.

Related: Electric propulsion confirmed for Mack Trucks

But in China, where there is a serious air pollution problem, things are a lot further along.

We reported on the drastic switch to electric buses in the nation yesterday, today we witnessed first hand the deep commercial interest in alternative propulsion systems.

At the truck/bus section of the Beijing Auto Show most of the vehicles on display didn’t have diesel engines, they were packed with electric motors, hydrogen fuel cells, and battery packs.

Some of the vehicles we took a look at included the range of buses available now from FDG Electric Vehicles.

Their range includes the eGLORY, a bonneted 20-22 seat minibus that can cover up to 240 kilometres on a single charge.

Recharge time is just 8 hours, or a one hour fast-charge.

There’s also the larger eBOSS, it boasts the same powertrain and drive range.

The FDG range wraps up with the eZONE city bus and it steps up to a 390 kilometre range.

Another operation, Shanshan, had a number of electric buses on show also, though like a traditional scenario where the chassis comes from one manufacturer and the bus body from another, their drivelines are supplied by Beijing National Battery.

Their line-up includes a Hino Poncho type flat floor offering with a 201km range, as well as a full-size city bus that can travel 210km on a single charge.

This operation also offers a full-size electric coach that offers a 200kW/2800Nm powertrain that will shift the vehicle up to 286km.

JMC, a brand that Australians are slowly starting to get familiar within the light-duty truck and pick-up segments, also had an electric model on display.

The 88kW/6-tonne truck, like all the other electric vehicles on display, is already available on the Chinese market.

Of the diesel-powered trucks on show, JMC had their heavy-duty offerings on hand, including prime-movers (6×4 and 4×2) and the rigid construction truck (6×4 and 8×4) seen above.

These offerings are powered by Ford-supplied 13 litre and 9 litre engines that produce between 360hp and 414hp, and up to 2,150Nm of torque.

GENLYON, a partner of Iveco, had a 6×2 camper on show, along with a 6×6 prime mover. Both are powered by Iveco’s Cursor 13 engine producing up to 560hp.

FOTON, who have tried to get a start in Australia previously, had their Cummins X12-powered heavy-duty trucks on show, as well as medium and light-duty offerings too.

Lastly, seemingly borrowing heavily from the Daimler Trucks design department was BEIBEN TRUCK.

Promising to ‘Run Around the World, Gallop Into the Future’, their trucks can also be powered by an optional Cummins engine and they have a 6×4 rigid construction truck on offer too.

BEIBEN also market military vehicles, including a 6×6 troop transporter.

Related: UD Trucks commits to electric and autonomous future

Are you ready to welcome more Chinese-built trucks and buses into Australia? Would you consider going Chinese if the price/quality was right? Let us know your thoughts below.

Stay up to date with all the latest Truck and Bus Industry News at heavyvehicles.com.au.

About Joel Helmes 1676 Articles
Joel is the founder and CEO of Heavy Vehicles. With more than 20 years experience in the media, including more than 10 years heading up the car publication - Behind the Wheel, Joel is passionate about bringing a fresh perspective to the Australian road transport industry. Prior to his media career Joel worked for a number of years as a bus, truck and delivery driver.

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