Waev Inc is keen to encourage GSE fleet operators and managers to think critically about whether their operations would benefit from a migration to electric equipment. “We also want to help them understand the differences between electric options, and even the difference between various lithium-powered solutions,” says Hoadley.
He believes that there are a number of specific questions that a GSE operator should ask when thinking about making the switch to electric GSE in general and lithium-powered units in particular. These questions might include:
- How will the performance of a battery-powered vehicle compare to a similar diesel-powered vehicle? Will it be able to tow/haul the same amount, for example? Will the vehicle be operable all day?
- Will a change to lithium vehicles require significant investment in charging infrastructure? If so, could that be done in phases?
- How long and how often will the vehicle need to be charged? Will there be options for on and off-board charging? Will there be the ability to ‘opportunity charge’ without damaging the battery?
- How complex will the drive system and battery be and will they require a lot of maintenance? Will the battery have a separate/integrated heated and cooling system to maintain?
- What, if any, additional operator training will be required?
- What will be the ongoing fuel and power train maintenance costs?
- Will electrifying the vehicle bring any additional safety benefits?
- How will the batteries perform in cold and hot weather?
- How many years will the batteries last?
- Will the warranty be the same as for diesel-powered vehicles?