Electric truck company tests its new vehicles on the track.
Charge is an electric vehicle company based in Oxford, developing smaller delivery vehicles and larger, full-sized trucks to suit a number of commercial and industrial purposes. As part of their efforts to test the new fleet of vehicles, they’re being taken to the race track. Rather than racing though, the charge trucks are serving as support vehicles for the all electric Formula E racing series. Formula E uses urban street courses instead of traditional race tracks, an advantage for Charge, who can then put their vehicles to the test in exactly the kind of environments the manufacturer is hoping to deploy them in.
The vehicles being developed by Charge seem to be plug-in hybrids, capable of travelling 100 miles with zero emissions, and then a further 500 miles using a generator which powers the battery. The trucks will be modular, and Charge claims that one person could assemble a vehicle in four hours, with a team of 10 working in two shifts being capable of putting together as many as 10,000 trucks annually. This means that production could take place in smaller, local factories, rather than requiring a large central assembly hub and having to ship the vehicles from there. It’s an innovative idea also being investigated by Local Motors and OX.
Charge is also involved in another race; the autonomous Roborace which begins next year. Charge is aiding the racing series in the development of motors and power electronics. Te company hopes to have their first production plant open and running near their company headquarters next year, and will be producing their vehicles at a price competitive with conventional truck manufacturers.