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French manufacturer Gaussin has unveiled what it calls the world’s first electric and hydrogen powered “skateboards” for class 8 tractors and straight trucks ranging from 18 tons to 44 tons.

According to Gaussin, the design consists of a rolling, versatile and modular platform open to various market players. It says the solution is aimed at traditional truck manufacturers and new entrants, who could manufacturer cabins that would be affixed to the so-called skateboards.

Manufacturing could begin as early as this year according to the company’s press release.

Gaussin says the skateboard contains the key components and systems to produce next-generation road trucks. This includes an “ultra-light” chassis developed by Magna that weighs “400kg less than other chassis on the market,” as well as hydrogen tanks, fuel cells, electric motors, drives, axles and suspensions.

As Gaussin explains, the skateboard tractor and carrier are available in two versions: a long-distance hydrogen version with a hydrogen refueling time of less than 20 minutes for a range of 800 km; and an all-electric version for short distances with a battery change time of 3 minutes for a range of 400km.

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As we wrote earlier, truck players will be able to integrate their own cabs, software and equipment configurations with the skateboard. Gaussin hopes that this will make its concept the core truck technology for a variety of applications such as transporting semi-trailers, boxes, tippers, tanks or drums with capacities ranging from 18 to 44 tons.

The French manufacturer says its aim is to produce the skateboard through a network of licensees in order to accelerate its international deployment. It is seeking 41 licenses in over 36 months, which the company believes will see it capture 5% of the clean-energy truck market by 2031.

In a statement, Jean-Claude Bailly, Managing Director Truck & Bus Division of Gaussin, said that the skateboard concept would allow various players in the sector to achieve an extremely rapid time-to-market:

For the first time in the world of heavy trucks, Gaussin has created a versatile platform enabling the various players in the sector to achieve an extremely rapid time-to-market. The solution will enable them to save precious time in project development, at a time when the heavy goods vehicle market is changing rapidly and innovation is a key differentiating factor, more than ever.


Photo credit: Gaussin

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