Mack Trucks is introducing battery-electric power to its medium-duty vehicle lineup, unveiling the Mack MD Electric at the Work Truck Show in Indiana.
The diesel-powered model was first introduced in 2020, while its electric counterpart comes on the heels of the Mack LR Electric that entered production in December 2021.
Coming in a Class 6 with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 25,995 lb. and a Class 7 at 33,000 lb., the Mack MD Electric will be produced at Roanoke Valley Operations (RVO) in Virginia, where production of the MD Series began in 2020.
Styling elements such as the grille and hood draw inspiration from the Mack Anthem and Mack Granite, but the underlying architecture is different than the OEM’s LR Electric models.
The truck’s three-phase permanent magnet synchronous motor and electric accessories are powered by nickel manganese cobalt oxide lithium-ion batteries in 150-kWh or 240-kWh configurations. Related charging is available through AC or DC units, while regenerative braking helps extend the operating range.
Power and range
The MD Electric will have a maximum 230-mile (370-km) range in the 240-kWh configuration, with front-, mid- and rear-mounted battery pods. And the Class 7 models will be about 3,000 lb heavier than their diesel-powered counterparts. The 150-kWh models with a front and smaller mid-point battery pod will have a 140-mile (225 km) range.
“This is another important step in our efforts to drive decarbonization and a more sustainable future, and we plan to continue investing in technologies that help improve the environment and society,” Mack Trucks global president Martin Weissburg said in a press release.
The 4×2 trucks models come with a 103-inch bumper to back of cab, which Mack says is an industry best. Wheelbases come in 206, 221, 236, 251 and 270-inch lengths.
“It is perfect for the snug confines of Quebec City, where you need a tight turning radius,” Pierre-Paul Larouche, compliance manager at Larouche Remorquage, said in a prepared statement.
Charging and power
Charging is delivered through a standard CCS1 connector, while an onboard 19.2-kW charger can replenish batteries in six to 11 hours. A DC 80-KW charger can do that job in 100 to 150 minutes.
The motion comes via a three-phase permanent magnet synchronous motor that delivers a continuous 185 hp (138 kW) and 960 lb-ft, or a peak 260 hp (195 kW) and 1,850 lb-ft.
Temperatures for the electric drive motor, onboard charger, and DC/DC converter are controlled via a cooling box mounted behind the step on the driver’s side of the truck, featuring a radiator with two variable-speed electric fans.
Sitting under the copper-colored bulldog mounted on the hood is the power distribution unit. This features the DC/DC converter that powers the 12-volt batteries, steering pump and air compressor.
A 13.4-cubic-foot air compressor mounted on the passenger side of the vehicle is connected to a pair of air tanks and AC condenser. And an available ePTO motor will deliver 10 kW (about 13.4 hp) with a maximum speed of 3,500 rpm.
‘A great success story for Mack’
The first of the trucks are to be delivered before the end of the year.
Mack’s MD Series has been “a great success story for Mack Trucks since we launched,” said Rich Million, senior vice-president – strategy and business development. The vehicle platform entered production in March 2020 after a $13 million investment in the RVO production line, which last January began a second shift.
Targeting the van, dump, stake/flatbed and tank applications, the Mack MD ended 2022 with a 5.5% market share in the medium-duty segment, up 1.8 points year over year.
The OEM produced its 5,000th MD last February, and doubled that count within a year.
“We hit the market with the right spec’ at the right time with the right partners,” Million said.