In this episode of The New Warehouse Podcast, Kevin sits down with Ali Javidan, the CEO and Founder of Range Energy. Range Energy is taking a unique approach to electrifying fleets by focusing on electrifying the trailer rather than the truck itself. Ali Javidan has an extensive background in the automotive industry, starting with his experience in Motorsport and later joining Tesla Motors in its early days. With his deep knowledge of electric vehicles and robotics, Ali recognized the potential in electrifying trailers, leading him to found Range Energy. Be sure to tune in to hear all about how this innovative concept is decarbonizing logistics.
Electrifying the Trailer vs. Electrifying the Truck
One of the key topics discussed in the podcast episode is the difference between electrifying the trailer and the truck. Ali explains that Range Energy’s approach involves equipping the trailer with a fully activated electric axle, a battery pack, and a kingpin sensor system. The trailer operates independently and does not rely on a data connection with the truck. This innovative design integrates the trailer’s electric system with the truck’s propulsion system. Ali emphasizes that their system can work with current diesel tractors and upcoming electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles, showcasing its flexibility and compatibility. He also emphasizes the potential for significant fuel economy gains, estimating a 40% increase compared to current diesel tractors.
“The energy consumption profile was much worse for an electric vehicle towing a trailer than a diesel or gasoline vehicle. We realized the big opportunity for decarbonization and making a real impact was to go after the class eight dry van space in the United States. Our system requires no information from the tow vehicle and can operate seamlessly using physics. We estimate a 40% increase in fuel economy from today’s diesel tractors, making it a game-changer for decarbonization efforts in the industry.”Ali Javidan
Benefits of Electrified Trailers from Range Energy
Another significant topic discussed in the podcast is the multitude of benefits Range Energy’s electrified trailers offer. Ali explains that Range Energy’s trailers provide a fuel economy comparable to bobtailing, allowing for substantial savings in fuel costs. The system also offers regenerative braking capabilities, enabling energy recovery during downhill descents. The trailers’ modular design and telematics capabilities allow seamless integration with existing infrastructure, such as charging stations and power gateways. The flexibility and adaptability of Range Energy’s solution make it an attractive option for companies looking to decarbonize their fleets and enhance operational efficiency.
“Our system helps transition the industry into decarbonization without forcing it. It provides significant fuel economy gains, eliminates range anxiety, and enhances the towing experience for drivers. Our electrified trailers can be seamlessly integrated with existing infrastructure, and we have designed them to be compatible with future technologies, ensuring long-term viability and adaptability.” Ali Javidan
Future Implications and Outlook for Electrified Trailers
Looking ahead to the future, Ali shares his perspective on the potential advancements in the industry. While fully autonomous trailers may become a reality in the distant future, Ali believes that the role of drivers will remain essential for the next decade or more. He emphasizes the importance of driver safety and the need to ensure the reliability and stability of autonomous systems before removing the driver from an 80,000-pound vehicle. The ability of trailers to power other equipment, such as reefer units or lift gates, is highlighted as an example of the flexibility and future possibilities of Range Energy’s electrified trailers.
“While fully autonomous trailers might be far off, yard automation is a more feasible and near-term possibility. We are building our system with a strong foundation of functional safety and compatibility to allow for future integrations and adaptations. The industry is evolving, and we want to be at the forefront of decarbonization efforts, providing innovative solutions that enhance operations and reduce environmental impact.” Ali Javidan
Key Takeaways from Range Energy
- Electrifying the Trailer: Range Energy’s approach focuses on electrifying the trailer rather than the truck, allowing for significant fuel economy gains and decarbonization in the warehousing industry.
- Benefits of Electrified Trailers: Range Energy’s electrified trailers offer increased fuel efficiency, reduced emissions, regenerative braking capabilities, and improved driver experience. Their modular design and telematics capabilities provide flexibility and seamless integration with existing infrastructure.
- Future Outlook: While fully autonomous trailers may be a possibility in the distant future, the role of drivers will remain essential for the next decade or more. However, yard automation expects to advance more rapidly than roadway automation, offering new possibilities for efficiency and operational improvements.
Listen to the episode below and leave your thoughts in the comments.
For more information on Range Energy, click here.
To connect with Ali on LinkedIn, click here.
Check out the podcasts below for more information about decarbonization in logistics and warehousing.
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374: Sustainable Power Solutions – EnerSys