Off Road & Heavy-Duty Vehicle Electrification Applications & Challenges

A conference panel review with Kent Wanner

At this year’s Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Conference, John Deere organized and participated in a panel discussion alongside Artisan Vehicles (part of Sandvik Mining), Kenworth, and Hyster-Yale Group. The discussion topic and panelists were selected to provide attendees the opportunity to hear unique electrification perspectives from various vehicle OEMs in the off-road and heavy-duty space. The session offered insight from experienced practitioners in their fields — including the chance to hear about specific electrification applications, requirements, challenges, and successes from each company. Highlights included coverage of:

  • Material handling trucks using a combination of hydrogen fuel cell, battery, and wireless charging to allow full-performance, zero-emission operation for port container logistics.
  • Battery-electric underground mining vehicles that allow for significant reductions in mine operating costs due to reduced fresh air ventilation and cooling requirements while providing increased productivity.
  • Examples of electrification for heavy-duty trucks, including a detailed discussion on the challenges of using batteries for long-haul freight. Additionally, customer value propositions were discussed, such as productivity, fuel economy, ease of use, reduced maintenance, and quieter operation for electrification in production agriculture, construction, and turf applications.

JDES Senior Staff Power Electronics Design Engineer Kent Wanner says the session was very well attended. “It was clear the audience was interested in this material and in the companies represented. The attendees were certainly engaged during the entire session — they had interesting questions for each of the panelists. The panel represented some very exciting work with vehicle OEMs, each having their own unique challenges and applications. It was fascinating to hear and better understand the differences from the more widely-understood passenger car applications. Questions ranged from battery system safety deep underground, to charging and overall range/refueling strategies to meet the very challenging and high-power operational requirements. This session demonstrated several exciting trends and clever solutions for meeting customer expectations of performance and productivity in a reduced or zero emissions manner. It was evident from the presentations and discussion that electrification technologies —along with smart, integrated controls — are successfully finding a home in many different industries.”

The Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Conference, co-located with the Battery Show, boasts over 8,500 attendees, 650+ industry suppliers, 150+ speakers, and over 72 hours of technical education.

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