Zeus, based in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, is a leading class 4-6 purpose-built, severe-duty, electric work truck solution in North America. With a company mission to “engineer and manufacture uncompromising, full-electric vocational solutions that address environmental and industry needs,” Zeus has established itself as an eMobility manufacturer and has partnered with market leading suppliers, OEMs, end-user fleets and non-profit industry leaders to execute its mission.
Zeus Power Platform: Electric work truck cab-chassis solution
From working on cable lines to gathering trash and repairing roads, people depend on heavy-duty vocational trucks and fleet vehicles to support and maintain their communities. Idling work trucks on the side of the road inspired Zeus to create the Zeus Power Platform, an electric work truck solution.
The Power Platform, designed to be highly versatile, allows for personalized customization of the cab and chassis for various applications like bucket trucks, cranes, dump trucks, service bodies and school buses, all using existing OEM body solutions and channels to market. Although the cab and chassis design came easily, identifying a battery supplier that met Zeus’ demands was a challenge. The battery manufacturer needed to make a complete battery pack that would work with Zeus’ modular cab and chassis and would fit between the chassis frame rails, and that was safe in a variety of mobility applications.
“It was hard to find the right companies and discover the truth about each system relative to how it was manufactured, tested, and to what degree it was supported,” said Bob Grinstead, founder and chief technology officer for Zeus.
Batteries from Webasto
In the search for a battery partner Zeus first connected with Webasto at a trade show in Munich, Germany and soon thereafter officially sourced Webasto for its supplier of commercial vehicle (CV) standard batteries, vehicle interface boxes (VIB) and eBTM for thermal management. The resulting product serves Zeus as a turnkey power system for its vehicles.
Webasto’s battery systems provide a modular solution that can be fitted to various customer demands, including battery, battery thermal management and a holistic power distribution unit with DC fast-charge capability under one roof. Webasto’s approach to lithium-ion battery systems and experience with thermal management systems enables Zeus to integrate the system for various range and work functions. This system flexibility and Zeus’ holistic integration approach allows fleets to field medium-duty EV work trucks that meet their specifications and perform work for an 8- to 10-hour day.
“The more we looked into the Webasto solution, the more we understood it was a game-changer in regard to its modularity,” said Grinstead. “It was the right decision to make the switch to Webasto’s battery solution.”
The battery packs, each offering 35kWH of energy, can be combined for a total of 350 kWh. Additional versions offer 400V and 800V. For the Z-19 cab chassis, Webasto supplies its CV lithium-ion batteries, based on nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) chemistry, with a capacity of 105 to 210 kWh.
In addition to the complete battery system, Webasto can also support Zeus’ aggressive go-to-market strategy, providing global excellence in electronic, mechanical and thermal competencies, as well as experience industrializing complex high-volume products. As an added benefit and differentiator, Webasto brings a 360-degree approach by dedicating engineering teams from project initiation through start-of-production, as well as offering access to a technical services team, promising field support excellence, and afterlife support to guarantee Webasto’s batteries are reused and/or disposed of properly.
Zeus® and Zeus Electric Chassis® are registered trademarks, and Zeus Power Platform™ is a trademark, of Zeus Electric Chassis, Inc.