After experimenting with hybrid and hydrogen-powered prototypes, Kenworth unveiled an electric version of its T680 truck called T680E at CES 2022. It’s not the company’s first battery-powered hauler, but it’s the biggest and heaviest member of the range by a wide margin.
Kenworth notes that it designed its latest EV for pickup and delivery, regional hauling, and drayage applications. Specifications are relatively vague, but the Meritor-sourced powertrain delivers 536 horsepower of continuous power, 670 horsepower of peak power, and 1,623 pound-feet of torque. The T680E has a 65-mph top speed, which is the speed limit for semis in some states, and its estimated range checks in at 150 miles. That’s low considering that some diesel-powered trucks are capable of making a 300-gallon tank last for about 2,000 miles.
Nothing about the Class 8 T680E displayed at CES suggests that it’s electric; design cues like a long front end with a bright, upright grille make it look like a diesel-powered model. Many of the drivetrain’s electronics are tucked under the hood. It will initially be available either as a tractor (meaning set up to pull a trailer) or as a straight truck (with a box behind the cab) and both configurations will offer users a day cab and a 6×4 axle configuration. Buyers will be asked to choose between a 54,000- and an 82,000-pound gross vehicle weight rating (GWVR).
Like the K370E and the K270E, which are Class 7 and Class 6 trucks, respectively, the T680E can be plugged into stations built by PACCAR Parts whose output ranges from 20 to 350 kilowatts. Fleet operators can work directly with PACCAR Parts to design a network that suits their needs; some might require one station that charges the truck overnight, while others could need a dozen (or more) quick chargers. Kenworth states that, in ideal conditions, the T680E’s presumably massive battery pack can be fully charged in approximately three hours.
Pricing for the T680E hasn’t been released yet.