German commercial vehicle manufacturer MAFI Transport-Systeme has released an electric version of its popular T 230 diesel terminal tractor (terminal tractors, more colorfully known as “yard goats,” are used to move cargo around within ports and other such facilities). MAFI’s distributor, Eastern Lift Truck, said the new truck will be available this spring.
The new electric T 230e yard truck retains all of the features that have made the diesel T 230 popular, including a small turning radius and a hydraulically-operated fifth wheel boom specially designed for container handling. It will be powered by a battery pack with a capacity of up to 177 kWh.
The lack of exhaust allows the tractor to be used in the food industry, and its low noise emissions make it suitable for operation near residential areas. These advantages also increase operator comfort.
MAFI is planning electric versions of the other vehicles in its T series, and is also considering other alternative drive technologies.
MAFI Technical Director Michael Arndt explained that EVs offer lower operating costs than ICE vehicles, because of their lower maintenance requirements. What about high battery costs? “Today, the durability of the batteries can be ensured for the life of the vehicles, as both the design and the cell chemistry are getting better and better,” said Arndt.
“We will be able to create further variants based on our battery electric vehicle,” said Arndt. “A combustion engine can be used as a power generator in the vehicle, so a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) or a hybrid vehicle would be a possible option. The use of fuel cells can also be implemented.”