When TICO Manufacturing partnered with Volvo Penta to develop an emission-free, electric terminal tractor, the company knew it needed to be a robust, highly capable and durable concept that customers could trust to perform as well as its traditional product line.
Now, a sustainable and reliable solution has turned into reality, says Jim Grooms, COO of TICO.
“The biggest feedback we have received thus far is how similar the EV truck operates in comparison to the current TICO tractor,” he said, noting that the Pro-Spotter Electric terminal tractor has now entered full production.
“The most proud thing we have is to be able to leverage that and bring it into the EV market so that the user doesn’t really see much difference from capability but gets all the technology advancements that an electric vehicle brings to market.”
TICO has secured its initial orders for the model as part of a pre-series run and will soon deliver the first retail units. As the largest terminal tractor fleet owner and operator in North America, TICO needed to team up with a technologically advanced electric powertrain provider to develop solutions for EV terminal tractors used in ports, distribution centers and rail terminals.
“We enjoy a positive reputation in the market from terminal tractors, and Volvo Penta also enjoys one from the powertrain perspective,” said Grooms. “When you put the two together, it’s a great product for our customers.”
Top Features of the Pro-Spotter Electric Terminal Tractor
From proven technology to instant torque, these product highlights are the result of TICO and Volvo Penta’s commitment to delivering a superior electromobility solution.
Volvo Penta designed the unique EV Terminal Tractor driveline system to reduce total weight, leading to faster acceleration, instant torque and improved efficiency.
Two battery packs sit between the chassis rails, protecting the units from potential damage within a harsh working environment. A proprietary Active Cooling Unit maintains an optimum temperature to maximize their lifetime and efficiency. Batteries can reach full capacity in 45 minutes with a 150kW charger, and the system allows for opportunity charging during breaks to ensure the unit is ready when needed.
Fleet operators appreciate a spacious cab, with the Volvo Group two-speed gearbox offering seamless and silent shifting between gears, enhanced comfort and a better overall driving experience.
“Using that technology with the two-speed gearbox gives us the opportunity to run our truck through the full range of torque and speed that our customers our enjoying today,” said Darryl Berryman, director of engineering and product development for TICO, about EV Pro-Spotter performance.
Emission-Free Material Handling
The electric solution works well in a material-handling vehicle, often used in confined areas with good accessibility to an electrical charging infrastructure.
Besides helping to reduce the carbon footprint and reach zero-emissions targets, the Pro-Spotter EV eliminates fuel costs, reduces maintenance fees and increases uptime. Electric drivelines include fewer moving parts than diesel engines, leading to less wear and tear.
Volvo Group Power
The same electric power concept installed into the Pro-Spotter EV has undergone hundreds of thousands of testing hours and real-world use. As a proud part of the Volvo Group, Volvo Penta benefits from the strength and experience in proven electromobility technology from Volvo Trucks, Volvo Construction Equipment and Volvo Buses.
“Partnering with TICO on our project to introduce an emission-free, electric terminal tractor leverages Volvo Group technology and Volvo Penta’s experience and full-system approach to the electric driveline—from development to installation—and TICO’s manufacturing capabilities and extensive customer service and support,” said Darren Tasker, vice president of industrial for Volvo Penta.
That extensive service and support includes the TICO EDGE real-time service management platform, an integrated battery monitoring service and a dedicated support network.
Berryman says that the Volvo Penta solution in a terminal tractor gives TICO the opportunity to put a product on the market that no one else has as well as the ability to provide the customer with exactly what they use today but with all the advantages of zero emissions.
“Collaborating with Volvo Penta has been the spirit of what the supplier partnership is supposed to be,” he added.