The French special vehicle manufacturer Gaussin has placed an order for battery systems with Microvast. The batteries will be used in a platform for electric trucks from 18 to 44 tonnes.
The scope of the long-term collaboration is for Microvast to supply batteries with a total capacity of at least 1.5 GWh over the next five years and up to 29 GWh by 2031. Different battery types can apparently be supplied within the contract: Microvast says it can “provide a wide range of different cell chemistries in its standard battery packs to meet varying performance, energy density and lifetime requirements”.
Variability should indeed be an advantage, as the skateboard platform for trucks unveiled by Gaussin at the end of April can include battery-electric vehicles or fuel cell trucks. The vehicles can thus be designed for different deployment scenarios – the requirements for a buffer battery in a fuel cell drive differ greatly from those in an 18-tonne truck for distribution transport or the 40-tonne truck in factory logistics.
In addition, the drive types result in a different amount of space in the body. “The high modularity of Microvast batteries gives Gaussin great flexibility in vehicle design,” says Microvast.
With its platform solution, Gaussin aims to target both traditional truck manufacturers and new companies or bodybuilders. Similar to the logic of supplier platforms in the passenger car sector, the “rolling, versatile and modular platform should be adaptable for the different market participants”. Gaussin also names “market participants in the field of autonomous navigation software” as a target group – the skateboard is also supposed to be suitable for autonomous semi-trailer trucks.
The first prototypes of the all-electric and hydrogen versions are to be built in mid-2021 – in other words, in just a few months. The first prototypes are to be presented to large fleet and e-commerce companies in the USA and Europe. The hydrogen version is to have a total range of up to 400 kilometres. Microvast does not specify a range for the battery version.