Are Skateboards the Future of Trucking?

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A few releases this week have prompted PowerTorque to ask the question, are skateboards the future of trucking? This because two new skateboard concepts have been released, although the major manufacturers still seem set on developing complete trucks for the future.

This first video is a great piece of CGI putting together a truck while flying low over a highway. The second shows just how the thinking behind building a basic structure on which to add the functions of a freight vehicle is taking hold among innovative designers.

This Gaussin system is a versatile and modular rolling platform aimed at traditional truck manufacturers, plus new entrants, as well as bodybuilders and autonomous navigation software players. More broadly, the skateboard targets all players wishing to have access to a hydrogen and electric platform for clean and intelligent transport.

To accelerate time-to-market, Gaussin plans a global rollout as early as 2021 through an assembly and marketing licensing program. The skateboard is designed as an essential road truck technology, ready to be customised.

The skateboard contains the key components and systems the company says are needed to produce next-generation road trucks, including an ultra-light chassis developed by Magna that weighs 400 kg less than other chassis on the market, as well as hydrogen tanks, fuel cells, electric motors, drives, axles and suspensions.

The skateboard prime mover and rigid are available in two versions: a long-distance hydrogen version and an all-electric version for short distances. Truck makers will be able to access these platforms and integrate their own cabs, software and equipment configurations, making the skateboard the core truck technology for a variety of applications. These truck building blocks will be available in different lenghts, heights and axles configuration to meet the different needs of the road truck segment market.

are skateboards the future of trucking?

Another go ahead truck developer, Volta, have also embraced the skateboard concept this week. It has revealed the first running prototype chassis of the Volta Zero. The company claims this prototype is the world’s first purpose-built full-electric 16-tonne commercial vehicle designed specifically for inner city logistics. 

The first running Volta Zero prototype chassis has been designed and built using a high-voltage battery supplied by Proterra, and the compact eAxle, the integrated rear axle, electric motor and transmission unit, from Meritor. 

The prototype chassis is due to start a comprehensive testing programme on proving grounds soon, with learnings taken into the production of a Pilot Fleet of vehicles expected to be delivered in late 2021. Full-scale production of customer-specification vehicles will then follow at the end of 2022.

are skateboards the future of trucking?

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