This EV truckmaker is gigacasting its battery packs for longevity

News Summary

  • Tesla famously uses gigacasting to replace other stamp steel components in the body in white, but we're applying that technology to battery packs instead," Harris said.Like Porsche and Hyundai, Harbinger has opted for 800 V for its battery packs.
  • Like the battery packs, it's compact enough to fit between the chassis frame rails, which keeps the center of gravity low.Because the design is meant to have some longevity in service, Harbinger has future-proofed with steer- and brake-by-wire so that an autonomous driving system could be integrated later.
  • The benefit here isn't really for faster fast-charging; fleets of delivery trucks that rarely drive as much as 100 miles (160 km) a day will recharge slowly—but more importantly, much more cheaply—overnight.
  • It's great for mass production, according to Harris, "but when you look at a Tesla battery pack that's 15 years old, and there's a couple now, the cells are fine, the enclosures all rusted through.
  • To then install their software, install their sensors, without having to break what we've already built," Harris said.Harbinger will deliver trucks to customer pilot programs later this year to begin validation.
  • "When we look at the biggest product in our segment—for delivery vehicles anyways—it's the Ford F-59, which is a stripped chassis, and that's basically an engine with like minimal additional stuff," Harbinger CEO John Harris told Ars.
Enlarge/ One of Harbingers trucks on a demo ride at ACT Expo in May.36 with We make no secret of our affection for the electric vehicle here at Ars, and that extends beyond the lightduty cars a [+5163 chars]