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Partnership shapes move to electrify refrigerated trailers

USA: Vehicle electrification solutions company, XL Fleet, and eNow, a pioneer in renewable energy systems for heavy-duty trucks and trailers, have formed a partnership to electrify refrigerated trailers. 

The deal involves a battery and power electronics development and supply agreement and a $3m investment in eNow. Based in Warwick, Rhode Island, eNow provides solar and battery power systems that enable fully-electric transport refrigeration units for Class 8 commercial trailers. Additionally, XL Fleet has the right to acquire eNow at a pre-determined valuation.

Under the terms of the agreement, XL Fleet will supply battery and power electronics systems for the first 1,000 units of eNow’s new electrified refrigerated trailer solutions.

ENow has pioneered the development of mobile solar battery charging systems to the commercial fleet market since 2011. Its patented system employs roof-mounted solar modules linked to auxiliary batteries to power lift gates, in-cab HVAC, refrigeration, telematics and other loads such as appliances and lighting. 

XL Fleet is developing the high-capacity integrated lithium-ion battery and power electronics technology that will be installed underfloor on the Class 8 trailer, providing approximately 12 hours or more of run time between charges. ENow will integrate this system into its architecture, including its roof-mounted solar panels to maintain the battery charge and extend operation. 

“Our partnership and associated investment is consistent with our fleet electrification strategy, and provides us with efficient access to a large market with significant growth potential, while opening new doors for additional opportunities to provide our integrated fleet electrification and XL Grid solutions to Class 8 fleets,” said Tod Hynes, founder and president of XL Fleet.

“We have been collaborating with eNow on critical engineering elements of this exciting next generation electrified refrigerated trailer offering for some time now, and continue to be impressed by the team’s technology, ingenuity and shared passion for sustainability,” said Dimitri Kazarinoff, CEO of XL Fleet.

“This partnership will change the way the transportation industry thinks about energy and refrigerated transportation, as together we will offer the most advanced renewable power systems for reefer trailers, coupled with charging infrastructure, to eliminate a major source of diesel fuel consumption and emissions for fleets,” said Jeff Flath, eNow’s president and CEO.

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