Gaussin introduces zero-emission heavy-duty truck skateboard chassis
By Chad Elmore12 May 2021
Company targets solution at new and established truck OEMs, bodybuilders, autonomous navigation software firms.
French engineering company Gaussin has introduced what it called the “world’s first 100% hydrogen or all-electric skateboard for Class 8 tractor and straight trucks.” With a size range from 18 to 44 tonnes, the company said it is a versatile and modular rolling platform designed for various markets.
“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,” said Jean-Claude Bailly, managing director, Truck & Bus Div. of Gaussin. “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.”
The company has aimed the solution at traditional truck manufacturers, new entrants, as well as bodybuilders and autonomous navigation software players. More broadly, the company said the skateboard concept targets all players wishing to have access to a hydrogen and electric platform for clean and intelligent transport. To accelerate time-to-market, Gaussin said it plans a global rollout through an assembly and marketing licensing program.
The skateboard contains the key components and systems to produce next-generation road trucks, said Gaussin, including an ultra-light chassis developed by contract vehicle engineering and manufacturing firm Magna that weighs 400 kg less than other chassis on the market, as well as hydrogen tanks, fuel cells, electric motors, drives, axles and suspensions.
The primary objective of the zero-emission skateboard is to accelerate the transition to clean and intelligent solutions for freight transportation, said Gaussin. 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 400 km.
Global on-road truck companies are expected to have access the platforms as early as this year to integrate their own cabs, software and equipment configurations for a variety of applications such as transporting semi-trailers, boxes, dump trucks or tanks.
Gaussin said its ambition is to have the “reference platform in the road truck field by developing a large community of technological, regional and commercial partners and by facilitating its integration through documentation, training and standardization of the various mechanical and software interfaces.”
Examples of technologies integrated into the skateboard to facilitate its adoption include a universal plate to attach equipment to the skateboard, and an open interface for external autonomous driving software. The skateboard integrates different patented technologies owned by Gaussin.
The Gaussin Group is creating a road truck subsidiary and allocating dedicated resources to meet the specific needs of the sector. Its ultimate objective is to produce the skateboard through a network of licensees.
“With this hydrogen and electric skateboard, a world premiere, Gaussin reaffirms its pioneering role in ecological transition and the development of low-carbon mobility solutions,” said Christophe Gaussin, CEO of Gaussin. “The skateboard is fully in line with the group’s global mission and gives Gaussin a central role in the entire ecosystem.”