French manufacturer Gaussin has presented the world’s first “skateboard” for class 8 tractor and straight trucks, ranging from 18t to 44t – either hydrogen or all-electric – for the long haul and short-haul applications. According to the company, it will be the first 100% hydrogen truck skateboard for class 8 tractors and straight trucks.
The solution, which consists of a rolling, versatile and modular platform, is aimed at traditional truck manufacturers, 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.
The skateboard contains key components and systems for the production of next-generation road trucks, including an ultralight chassis developed by Magna, which is 400 kg lighter than other chassis on the market, as well as hydrogen tanks, fuel cells, electric motors, drives, axles, and suspensions.
It is available in two versions – the first one is a long-distance hydrogen version with a hydrogen refueling time of less than 20 minutes for a range of 500 miles (800 km). And the second is an all-electric version for short distances with a battery change time of 3 minutes for a range of 250 miles (400 km).
There will be multiple configurations (Tractor and Rigid 4×2, Truck and Rigid 6×2 / 6×4), so Gaussin should be able to offer vehicles for many applications.
“Global road truck players will be able to access these platforms as early as 2021 in order to integrate their own cabs, software, and equipment configurations–making the skateboard the core truck technology for a variety of applications such as transporting semi-trailers, boxes, tippers, tanks or drums with capacities ranging from 18 to 44 tons,” the company stated in its release.
Gaussin wants to address car manufacturers around the world and aims to start building their first prototypes for the platform in mid-2021, with Microvast supplying its MV-C battery pack.