ACT Expo closes in on record

By Mike Brezonick11 May 2022

ACT Expo The crowds have been big at the ACT Expo.

The annual Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo is billed as North America’s largest advanced transportation technology and clean fleet event. And the 2022 staging at the Long Beach, Calif., Convention Center put an emphasis on “largest” as the event is poised to establish records for exhibitors and attendees.

As of the opening day, Erik Neandross, CEO of show organizer Gladstein, Neandros & Associates, said that “7700 folks that had registered, so I think we’ll get past 8000 by the time all said and done here this week.

“The attendance growth is about 60% from when we were here just last September, when we had about 5000 folks registered. And so this year, we were expecting about 6000, but obviously, we’ve really blown the doors off of it and set a set a record.”

Neandross also confirmed that the ACT Expo would be moving from its longtime home in Long Beach, Calif., to the Anaheim Convention Center in 2023. “It’s much bigger, it’s going to allow us to continue to grow the show, which we think is sort of inevitable at this point,” he said. “It’s got a much bigger hall, we’ve got more meeting rooms, we’ve got a lot more hotel rooms for everybody so you can stay close.”

Highlights of the expo’s first two days included:

Bus manufacturer BlueBird Corp. unveiled a Class 5/6 electric vehicle chassis that target a broad range of fully-electric vehicles, including last-mile delivery step vans, motorhomes, and other specialty vehicles. Due to its modular design, the Blue Bird EV chassis allows for several battery configurations from 70 to 225 kWh that delivers a vehicle range of up to 175 miles on a single charge. The chassis are offered with three wheelbase options (178, 190 and 208 in.) for vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of up to 26,000 lb.

Blue Bird chassis Blue Bird unveiled a Class 5/6 electric vehicle chassis.

“For nearly a century, Blue Bird has perfected its core capabilities of designing, engineering and manufacturing school busesfrom the ground up,” said Matthew Stevenson, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corp. “Now we will apply our world-class chassis-building expertise to expand our electric-powered product range to the commercial vehicle space, thereby, nearly doubling our total addressable market.”

Hexagon Composites, which in April acquired a 40% stake in Cryoshelter GmbH, an Austria based company specializing in the development of cryogenic tank technology for liquid natural (renewable) gas (LNG) and liquid hydrogen (LH2). Together, Hexagon and Cryoshelter will industrialize Cryoshelter’s existing LNG technology and production capability, and use the LNG technology platform to further develop liquid hydrogen (LH2) solutions for heavy-duty transport.

Cryogenic tank Hexagon and Cryoshelter will industrialize Cryoshelter’s CNG technology and production capability, and use the LNG technology platform to further develop liquid hydrogen (LH2) solutions for heavy duty transport.

Freightliner Trucks, a division of Daimler Truck North America LLC (DTNA), unveiled its new battery electric Freightliner eCascadia that offers multiple battery and drive axle options, providing a typical range of 230 miles, depending on vehicle configurations. The eCascadia is suited for short-haul routes that allow for depot-based charging, examples of which include last mile logistics, local and regional distribution, drayage and warehouse to warehouse applications.

The vehicle is available with ratings of 320 to 470 hp and battery capacities of almost 440 kWh, with recharging to 80% in approximately 90 minutes. It incorporates a Detroit ePowertrain that utilizes an eAxle integrated with an electric motor, transmission and specialized electronics within a compact unit. Detroit’s ePowertrain provides two eAxle designs including a dual motor with max torque of 23,000 lb. ft. and maximum power of 395 hp, and a single motor with maximum torque of 11,500 lb.ft. and power of 195 hp.

Carrier Transicold unveiled its eCool range of electric transport refrigeration and cooling products which includes solutions for heavy-duty tractors and trailers, as well as medium- and light-duty trucks. The Vector eCool refrigerated trailer system powered by ConMet eMobility’s PreSet Plus eHub which uses in-wheel motor technology to capture and store clean, regenerative energy for the refrigeration unit.

eCascadia Daimler Truck North America’s David Carson talked at the introdution of the new eCascadia.

The Supra eCool truck refrigeration unit is an electric complement to the company’s Supra diesel truck refrigeration units, which operates via its own battery module in non-electric truck applications or via the truck’s power supply in battery-electric vehicle applications, while the ComfortPro electric auxiliary power unit (APU) is a new lithium-ion unit that provides up to 17 hours of continuous air conditioning.

Allison Transmission and Xos, a manufacturer and services provider of Class 5 through Class 8 battery-electric vehicles, powertrains, charging infrastructure, and fleet management software, announced a strategic e-Axle partnership to jointly heavy-duty Class 7 and 8 commercial electric vehicles.

Allison has delivered the initial eGen Power e-Axle hardware for integration, validation and testing in heavy-duty vehicle platforms that are designed and built by Xos. Allison will deliver additional eGen Power 100S and 100D units to Xos throughout 2022.

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